Thanksgiving

Psalm 100: 4
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Glory and Majesty

Jude 1: 24 – 25
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Healing Hopes

Psalm 107:20
He sent His word and healed them, and saved them from their destruction.

Vanity, Vanity

Psalm 127: 1
Unless the Lord builds a house, they who build it labor in vain.

Wise One

Matthew 7:24
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

Christian Model

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves. It you really want to see Christianity in action, here is your verse. Christians are supposed to put the needs of others ahead of their own. We are supposed to consider others as more important than ourselves. That is what Jesus did. He sacrificed his wants and needs for the rest of us. He didn’t want to be crucified. He didn’t want to die. He gave himself for us. We see this in others. I cannot help but think of

Words of the Heart

Matthew 15: 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and those things defile the person. Matthew 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart. Jesus said that in the last days, wolves would come dressed as sheep so we must be adept at discerning who is of the truth and who is not. Jesus said you would know the wolves (and the sheep) by their fruit. Yesterday, I sent you the test. It comes out of Colossians

The Test

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, a heart of compassion, humility, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other.

Spectacular

Psalm 126: 1 – 2 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, it was as if we were dreaming. Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. Then the nations said, “The Lord has done spectacular things for them.” I claim this passage on behalf of our generation. We have been challenged. We have a global pandemic which has claimed many lives and upended our lives for most of the year. The weather has been tumultuous, and that is probably an understatement. There have been tornadoes, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, fires, mudslides, earthquakes, unseasonable temperatures

Missouri

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also. In addition to all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Stripped

This third chapter of Colossians is Paul’s instruction regarding how one’s life changes after accepting Christ.

Rid Yourself

This is key language, certainly. I have been thinking quite a lot lately about what our faith requires of us. If I call myself a Christian, is there more to it than my salvation?

Seeking Life Above

The clear message from this passage is that our thoughts should be with Christ where he is seated. We should be seeking those things above.

Stirred, not Shaken

Trusting in God means we remind ourselves of what He has said instead of casually letting thoughts run through our minds. It also means correcting our thinking.

The Time is Now

May I suggest, the hour is now. We are in the hour of which John spoke. Do you have any doubt about that? One good thing the year 2020 has done for us, or should have done for us, is to focus us on that which is important. We should have clarity about the focus of our lives.

My Prayer

Yes Lord! Let peace continually reign over the hearts of everyone within the reach of my pen (or computer, as it were.) Grant them . . .

Prayer Time

This may be one of the most important devotionals I write all year. 

Paul’s Mission Statement

Did you every wonder how the Apostle Paul perceived his mission? In order to complete the race the Lord has set before us, we must understand and accept our personal mission. Paul, in writing to Timothy, tells us wat his was. It is twofold. First is love, second is faith.

Help and Hope

I am reminded, today, that psalms are actually songs. As we think about this as music, there is tendency, perhaps, to try to categorize the psalms generally but also this one specifically. One wouldn’t likely call it a ditty, maybe a lament instead. Would you expect this . . .

Abundant Thanks Lord

This verse is for me today. I would like to be this person. Of all the things I think I could change about me, this is one I would like to succeed at. I doubt I am the only person who feels they do not praise the Lord enough or give Him enough thanks.

Show Me

What struck me about this verse, though, is not the benefit to us as much as the relationship the Father and Son enjoy.

Help! I’m Dying

What is a Christian? At one level it is a very easy question to answer. At another level, we believe there is more to being a Christian than merely our beliefs and our confession.

Steadfast

This verse is an important verse for each of us to know and understand. Without it, much of the Bible loses its efficacy. However, with it, the Old Testament is as vibrant and life giving as the New Testament.

Mercy & Favor

What a sad truth this is; we bear the scorn and contempt of a world which has lost faith in the one true God.

Force vs. Force

I want to tell you a little story today. It seems these days, some of my best moments come when I am riding my bike. Recently, on the night before a scheduled bike ride, I invited God to go on the ride with me the following day. On the day of the ride . . .

Hands from Afar

You see here a methodology for healing. We’ve a little problem with this today though. We are supposed to be socially distanced from one another. How do we lay hands on the sick when we pray for them?

Not Jesus, Not God, but Us?

Taken together we learned, first, that God did not send Jesus into the earth to judge the world. Second, we are told that the Father is not judging anyone Himself. Therefore . . .

The Next Words

I have been riding my bike quite a bit this summer and one interesting observation of note is the number and variety of places I have seen quoted John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Peace and Prosperity

As Christians, we have an interesting heritage and lots of homes. Like the Jews we have roots in Jerusalem as our home because we have been adopted into the family of Abraham.

Grace and Knowledge

A friend and I were talking yesterday when he said he feels like he has lost a year of his life to Covid. I well imagine a lot of us feel that way. It gave me pause, though, and I have two responses to it.

Worm

Who am I, Lord, that you should take notice of me? Who am I that you should care for me when I am just a worm and unworthy? I will tell who I am. I am a worm for whom Jesus bled, suffered, and died.

Word Works

Today’s verse is the verse I have repeated to myself day after day. I had to have it to hang on to. These are our Father’s own words. He brought them to me.

Bless my Soul

When we speak of the Lord guarding and protecting us, we often think of the physical protection and security of our bodies and homes. . . it is important to have safeguards for your soul as well.

Fullness of Joy

It is very easy to believe that fullness of joy exists in the Lord’s presence. How could there be anything else? When we work backwards through this verse . . .

I Am

We are still learning so much about who (and what) God is. When Moses asked Him who he should say sent him, God said, “I am.”

Heal and Restore

The keys for national healing is the exact reflection of what we need on a personal level for healing. Let us look at these three important elements to national and personal healing.

Fear, Faith and Wisdom

My friend, Ann, brought up a really good point recently. She expressed concern over whether we are walking in faith or fear. This is always a good question but especially now during the corona virus situation.

Confidence

You can appropriate any and all Bible promises, including this from today’s psalm, because they all belong to you.

Statutory Lamp

The psalmist knows that peace, strength, and blessing are in the precepts of the Lord. He finds his strong tower and his shield in the law of God. The statutes of God are not laws to be despised to this psalmist. He understands that God has given the law as a means to aid and protect His loved ones. They are life and healing to those who find them. Today’s verse shows that God’s word is a guiding light.

Rocks and Stones

“The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” As the foundational stone, the integrity of the whole building relies upon the cornerstone. It determines the strength of the whole building.

Laud

The entire psalm is two verses and every word is wonderful. Two things struck me, though. First, this psalm is directed towards all nations and all people. Think of that. Imagine all the people of the world praising Yahweh, lauding Him with praise. Is that not a beautiful image? That day will come. We can meditate on it now, rolling that image around in our minds. All the peoples of the world will sing praises to the Lord, our God and we will praise Him in unison, many languages in harmony. Wow!

Peace My Soul

This is a good psalm and I think you will find comfort in many of its verses. I chose these two verses because they shouted to me about the peace we can find in our Lord.

Mocked and Scorned

This is one of the things which has most bothered me about the corona virus outbreak. No nation has had a bigger outbreak than the United States. My thinking is that we ought to fare well because of our God. Let me show you this same verse from the Passion Translation. It reads, “Why should the unbelievers mock us, saying, ‘Where is this God of yours?’” Does that not aggravate you a little? It bothers me a lot. This great nation, established in and by God is struggling with the viral outbreak. Why?

Supremacy

This psalm is about how the earth yielded to the command of the Lord when Israel fled from Egypt. The sea parted, the river stood back, and rocks even produced drinking water. This may be a good meditation for a world overrun by a viral enemy.

Praise

This is one of those verses which has different readings in different translations. There are varying nuances on the theme, and you might be interested in reading it in different Bibles. One of the easy ways to do that is to go to Bible Gateway. You can bring up this, or any other passage, in multiple translations at once. I landed here for one simple reason.

Righteous Life

Today’s passage shows the characteristics and benefits of a life lived in reverence to the Lord. It describes the life of the person who loves the Lord. Blessing and prosperity adorn his life and he is prosperous in all his ways. It also shows his personality traits, traits which are gained through living enamored with God.

Our Time

My favorite verse in this psalm is actually verse 10, “The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” That is the verse I intended to use for today’s Word of the Day. I didn’t use it because when I read verse 4 this idea of God’s compassion overtook my mind and heart. I was immediately given to understand that being in the Lord is how we are able to express compassion and to be gracious. Those two traits might not be intrinsic to humans, but we have the ability to express them expansively because He is in us giving life to our mortal bodies. His life within us is filling us with His goodness so that we have His love to share with others. This, the love and compassion of our dear Father, is what the world needs now, most of all.

Melchizedek

Melchizedek is an interesting figure. He appeared in Genesis 14: 18 after Abram defeated the three kings. Interestingly, though, Melchizedek is mentioned more often in the New Testament than the Old. When Abram returned from the battle, Melchizedek, the King of Salem and High Priest of God, brought out bread and wine to Abram. Abram, in turn, gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the spoils of war. Very interesting indeed!

Hand of Salvation

There are two aspects of these verses which sing to me. The first is that our Father saves according to His kindness. The second is that our salvation shall be recognized as the grace which comes from the hand of the Lord God, Yahweh, our Father and deliverer.

Aid

These two verses capture well how I feel about the coronavirus situation. We have battled it with our human wisdom, yet it seems we are getting nowhere. I appreciate the Herculean efforts researchers and medical personnel are investing in this problem. They truly are heroes. However, despite their tireless efforts, the virus continues to ravage the world. It is truly amazing how it tears through populations. We need intervention, Divine intervention.

Saved and Healed

Happy Monday all! I pray you are well and longing for a fresh word from the Lord. This psalm is a favorite of mine because it tells of God sending us His Word and the impact it has on human life. The Word heals. Amen.

I have this psalm, specifically verse 20, among the scriptures I give to people when they have need of physical healing. Of course, it is equally applicable to emotional or mental healing as well. I have also used it in the Word of the Day at least 18 times. I believe it has a strong message that will feed life to us. Today, however, I was equally struck by the verses accompanying verse 20 because together they tell a potent story. In context we learn that the people cried out to the Lord in their day of trouble. I cannot think of a period, in my lifetime, when we have been in greater trouble. When the people spoken of in this psalm cried out to the Lord, he saved them from their distress.

Good Prayer

Save me, show me your favor, let me find joy, prosperity, happiness and praise. Not a bad prayer, especially when you consider the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him to praise. All these things; favor, salvation, prosperity, etc. ultimately lead us to praise. Don’t you believe that praise, bragging about the great things God is doing in your life, leads to more praise and, subsequently, to more of those great things? The more I focus my mind and words on praise and thanksgiving, the more praise and thanksgiving well up in my heart.

Help!

This is a good word and a good reminder. When we sin, it is often with our mouths. I know I need hear these verses routinely to keep me reminded to watch my mouth. I did an entire series on this one little verse once. It is packed with meaning and when you unpack it, you find these are very powerful words. I am sure that Paul did not choose them lightly.

Motto

As you may have noticed, I am reading Colossians, the third chapter, and if you look at the digital Bible I am reading from, you will see that almost every verse is highlighted and the only reason it isn’t all highlighted is because I restrained myself. This chapter is a primer for the what the Christian life is to be. Today’s passage really spoke to me and I want to suggest that it is the seminal passage for this time in our history. However, we are so far from this paradigm right now, that I hesitate to speak what alit on my heart as I read it. Then again, many writers of truth have been shouted down throughout history and berated for speaking the truth. Just look at Paul, John and Peter for starters.

Hidden and Revealed

We talked about seeking on Monday. Here Paul tells us what else we should seek. So far this year, we have seen that we are to seek the Lord, His strength and His face continually (Psalm 105: 4), His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6: 33, and now the things which are above. The shorthand is, fix your eyes on Jesus. Keep looking at him because in him is all that matters. All the universe is in him because he is the light, the life and the way.

Year of Jubilee

Well, we certainly did return to our own property and stayed there. 2020 is the year we will not forget. Many people have surrounded themselves with more deep thought and philosophy in the months since the coronavirus invaded our lives than perhaps in entire years. Here is the question, though, what do you want to be able to say in say, 2022 when you look back at this year? Will you be able to say that despite the monumental challenges, the unprecedented impact upon our way of living, that you, none the less, we’re able to come out the other side having gained something important?

Seeker

Psalm 105: 4 Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually. Perhaps the most important, certainly some of the best advice in the Bible, this verse speaks the essence of the intertwined partnership, a valuable life model. Seeking Yahweh’s face in every event, even in every moment of life establishes a life lived with God Himself. It is the epitome of Christian experience. The keyword in this verse is, “continually.” Seeking God’s face continually implies an action and denotes where our energy is spent. However, the precursor of seeking God’s face is staying our thoughts upon Him. Having

Inhale / Exhale

Job 33: 4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Let’s return to the breath. I should have shared this with you long ago. My friend Chuck Goldberg taught me this, so here we go. I have shown you that the Breath of God is the Holy Spirit. Step one complete. Step two – we have talked about the name of God before, Yahweh. Now, Chuck has taught us that the name of God is actually the breath. What? Step three. Okay, so here is the lesson. Divide the name Yahweh

Civility

1 Timothy 3: 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Paul, in writing to Timothy, gave direction regarding the qualifications for church leaders. This verse points out one of the requirements, i.e. that he must have a good reputation outside of the church. I don’t know that we discuss these requirements often, in the general church but perhaps we should. Even if you have been privy to the discussions, is a person’s reputation outside the church something often considered? When

Immersed and Intertwined

John 21: 1 – 8 Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know

Receive the Breath

John 20: 21 – 22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Why in the world did Jesus breathe on his disciples? After yesterday’s Word of the Day, I bet you know the answer. Let’s ponder this just a moment though. Yesterday we saw that the breath is the Spirit. We also saw that where this breath is there is life and when there is the absence, there is

Breathe

Psalm 104: 29 – 30 You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the ground. You might not know it to just read these two verses, but they contain a couple of insights into the Divine Trinity and creation. In order to show the revelation which is contained here, let us first read this passage from a different translation. “When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give

Obligated by Love

Romans 1: 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Of course these words were written by Paul who was a preacher, like me. He encountered what we all do, the ministry to the saints juxtaposed to the ministry to the non-saved. There is more to this than simply preaching to saved and unsaved. Of course, the message is different when addressed to those who are already saved. Beyond that, though, there is a requirement in this verse of our obligation to the unsaved. The obligation is to the

Proven and True

2 Samuel 22: 31 God’s way is perfect! The promise of the Lord has proven to be true. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him. I really like when the Father starts showing me verse upon verse which combine to illuminate His teaching. Every verse this week has built upon the previous one. It began with “Blessing the Lord” in which we learned that believing God’s promises blesses Him. Today we arrive at a word of assurance. We have been looking at a model for prayer. This model is dependent upon God’s Word and His

Decree

Job 22:28 You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways. What do you think of when you hear the word “decree?” You probably do not think of the Bible. This verse from Job goes along with yesterday’s Word of the Day. Click Here to go to yesterday’s devotional. This is still about prayer. We are learning that prayer is much more than a laundry list of requests. It also does not equate to begging God to do something for us. Prayer is much more about finding what God

Prayer Model (revisited)

Psalm 103: 20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! We have talked about prayer a good bit this year and I have tried to introduce you to a prayer model that may be a little different from what we learned as kids. I have also tried to show you the important role that angels and God’s Word play in prayer. This verse fairly shouts. God’s kingdom operates according to His Word and both God and His angels are listening, attentive to the utterance of His Word. Most

Bless the Lord

Psalm 103: 1 – 5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I remember well when it came home to roost in my heart. I was in Florida, getting

Peaceful Ease

Proverb 3: 23 – 24 Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. This is a picture of what Christian life should be. It is a life of peace, tranquility and security. The fully realized Christian is able to lie down and sleep in peace because there is no fear or worry. They enjoy sweet sleep. Good sleep alone is a reason this verse is attractive, but I really like the picture it paints of a

The Crimson Lens

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. In 2015 I wrote a devotion titled “The Crimson Veil.” The substance of that article is about the effect the blood has on our relationship with the Father. When He looks at us, He looks through a crimson veil, that veil being the blood of Christ. God sees Jesus’ righteousness and worth when He looks at us because He looks through the veil of sacrificial blood. Speaking for myself, that is a powerful image and certainly helps

Promises, Promises

1 Kings 8:56 Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. According to all God has promised us, may He be blessed, because He does not fail. This is rich language but more importantly, it is the assurance of God’s promises fulfilled in our lives. What value has the Bible if not to see God, to learn of His ways and promises and to, subsequently, see them fulfilled in our lives? God did

Practical Compassion

Roman 12: 15        NIV Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. It would be interesting to hear from you as to what this sentiment says to you. It probably says more than seen at first glance. It is also probably appropriate for these times, specifically, because of the wide-spread and varied emotions people are experiencing around the globe.  People are facing a wide range of circumstances.  The situations and accompanying emotions can even vary by geographic region. What is our response to these changing situations and the real-life consequences? This is the application of

Enthroned

Psalm 102: 12 – 22 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Let

Godly Performance

Jeremiah 1:12 You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it. I’ve been thinking about prayer a lot lately. I bet I am not alone in that. I stumbled over this scripture today and it got me to thinking again. The best kind of prayer is when we pray God’s words and this verse makes it evident why that is true. Can you even picture that for a moment? Imagine God watching the earth for someone to speak His Word so He can rush in to perform it. Amazing. However, it brings up for me

Freed to Serve

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook about selflessly caring for others. I was reminded of this verse and found myself wondering if that is a key to self preservation. It set me to thinking. The people I know who are trying to find ways to bless and support others seem to be faring well though this challenging time. Is there something God wanted to do for us that comes through our

Got Wisdom?

Proverb 2: 6 – 7 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. Do you need wisdom, knowledge or understanding? Well, the Lord, our God, has stored these things for us so that they would be available in our time of need. Now, the real question is, “How do we avail ourselves of these things?” The answer is that you spend time in prayer. God is going to lead you in wisdom and knowledge. That is why he has stored them up; so that He can give them

Raging Storm

Matthew 8: 18, 23 – 26 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side . . . and when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea;

Memorial

The observance of Memorial Day is to honor men and women who died in their military service to this country.  It is common for us to acknowledge our living veterans too.  It is a day for waving the flag and for esprit de corps.  Whatever may be wrong with our country, we are still proud to be Americans and humbled by the price so many people have paid for us to get to live the lives we do. Memorial Day is a time for reflection.  Even as we express our gratitude to those who fought and died in military service,

Lovingkindness

Exodus 34: 6 – 7 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.” I wrote yesterday of my changing attitudes and if I failed to communicate this, I want to make clear that the only reason there is even a drop of compassion in my body is because our Father is full of loving compassion. He has given me the ability to feel His love and compassion for His

Communism and Compassion

Matthew 12: 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Many of you know my background but for those who do not, I was a Political Science major in college. After college I went to law school and got my Juris Doctor degree. I was known in college for my conservative views and argued for small government which should be administered as closely to the people as possible, civil liberties, and privacy. I lean towards the writings of John Locke and away from Thomas Hobbes.

Kingdom Living

Matthew 6: 33               Amplified Version But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. One of the fundamental principles of faith is to seek God. Seeking God’s face and His presence is never the wrong thing to do but, in this passage, Jesus gave us a more precise instruction. He said to seek the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, the two being closely related. Jesus

Seek and Receive

Matthew 6: 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Last week I wrote to you about Matthew 7: 7 – 12 (See Word of the Day, Fish or Snake, May 15, 2020). The substance of that article was asking and receiving, seeking and finding, knocking and the door being opened. We look for God’s blessing and God is not a man that He would give us a snake if we asked for a fish. He gives good gifts to His beloved. I was out on a bike ride Friday

What Price

Psalm 101: 1 – 4            NIV I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life – when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil. Most of us

Fish or Snake

Matthew 7: 7 – 11, 12 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will

Renewal

Psalm 13 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing

Magnetism

John 12:32              KJV And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Jesus was talking about his death and resurrection. His being lifted up on the cross like the serpent being put on the pole in the desert is a sign of salvation. Jesus was also talking about his resurrection and ascension. He was making the point that those acts would be the message that called people to him. That’s not all though, to this day, he is still actively calling all people unto him and that

Tried and Tested

Romans 12: 10           NKJV Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. I used this quote once before in the last 40 days of this covid conundrum. It is from Thomas Paine who, in another very trying time in American history, penned these words, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” This quote is from December 23, 1776. No doubt the souls of people were sorely tried and some, no doubt, found wanting. Allow me to share more of the quote. He went on to write, “The

Shout Happily

Psalm 100      GW Shout happily to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord cheerfully. Come into his presence with a joyful song. Realize that the Lord alone is God. He made us, and we are his. We are his people and the sheep in his care. Enter his gates with a song of thanksgiving. Come into his courtyards with a song of praise. Give thanks to him; praise his name. The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation. Here is an admonition to praise God, sing to Him, serve Him, and

Contemporary Historical View

Deuteronomy 5:33 You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess. Let’s go back and reread this verse. It is potent. Here is my takeaway, God’s commandments are meant to prolong our days and bless our way. I was thinking about a different verse which says, He will lead us in the way we should go (Isaiah 48:17) when I had a nudge to go look through a

National Day of Prayer

Exodus 33: 18 “I pray You, show me Your glory!” This is my prayer today. The theme for the National Day of Prayer is “Pray God’s glory across the earth.” Whomever chose the theme for this year must have had divine inspiration because it is the perfect prayer. It is curious that the National theme has a world-wide scope. This isn’t just about praying for our national leaders. It is about praying for God to show up across the whole world. So, what is the glory of the Lord? You may have seen the term “Shekinah Glory” before. The Shekinah

God Forsaken

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Right now, many places in the world appear God forsaken. How do you feel about that statement? What do you think non-believers are thinking now? Do they, or we, see God’s hand? Is He asleep? How do we answer anyone’s doubts, even our own? Stubborn faith is one answer. We choose to believe in love regardless of the current situation. How can this viral disaster occur, and hundreds of

Giving Tuesday

2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 9             NLT Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to

Fairness

Psalm 99: 4                  NLT Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established fairness. You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel. Our God is a God of justice and righteousness, but it must also be noted that He is a God of fairness. Fairness is one of those ideals that gets a bit lost sometimes. Some people say life isn’t meant to be fair. I disagree whole heartedly. Children have a basic sense of fairness. It is one of their measures of life. For some completely bizarre reason, as we grow

Glory Land

Psalm 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Sorry if this seems redundant or is boring but I couldn’t resist this verse after yesterday’s Word of the Day. What struck me about this is that when we live in His saving grace, as we discussed yesterday, then God’s glory shines in our land. If we take a more precise, modern-day language reading of the word “fear” we would render that phrase “revere Him.” We just don’t use the word fear in that context anymore. Therefore, the relationship is that

Help is Near

Psalm 34: 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I was very surprised today to realize I had not sent this verse. I would have sworn I had. There is never a time when this verse is not appropriate because we all have need of Jesus’ saving grace daily, we have all suffered broken hearts and unfortunately, most of us have experienced at least one time in our lives when we have been crushed in our spirits. What I hear the most in this right now, though, is the high level

Believership

Romans 4: 3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” So here is my question, would Abraham have become the Father of Israel if He did not believe? He is also called the father of faith. Surely, he would not have won that title without outstanding, radical belief. Question number two, what is the relevance for today? My answer is that I want to be like Abraham. Think of what God asked him to believe. He and his wife were already old. Sarah was infertile as a young woman. Then

Sustaining Trust

Jeremiah 17: 7 – 8 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” What refreshing and comforting words we receive today from Jeremiah. The person of faith and trust is represented as a tree. Trees live a long time, longer than humans. In the Bible,

Seas Roar; Rivers Clap

Psalm 98: 7 – 9 Let the sea, everything in it, the world, and those who live in it roar like thunder. Let the rivers clap their hands and the mountains sing joyfully in the Lord’s presence. Do you ever wonder what happened the day the Lord died? I mean, if he is the life (John 14: 6) what happened to the world when the life died? And then, did the earth rejoice when he came back to life? Did the animals feel something happening in the earth? Did they hide in their burrows when Jesus died? What about the

No Weapon!

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.” I journaled this verse recently and learned quite a bit from what the Lord revealed to me. What this verse gives us, God says, is our heritage. We are entitled to His vindication and victory. Here is what God said to me about this verse. I hope you enjoy it. Father, what would you say to me about this verse? “People tend to limit this verse. They rarely address the second part at all. Even the first phrase

Famine and Fortune

Genesis 26: 1, 12 Now there was a famine in the land. Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him. I have been thinking about the economic aspect of this corona virus problem and wanting to write on it. This passage has been running through my mind for a couple of weeks now. It has everything to do with our current economic situation. However, this story about Isaac is one of the Biblical passages which can leave you scratching your head. When Isaac was confronted with a famine, he thought

Legionnaires

Matthew 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Boy, there is a revelation in that scripture. A legion is 6000 and it refers, specifically, to troops, soldiers. Jesus said if he asked the Father, God would put at his disposal more than 72,000 angelic soldiers. Let that one sink in for a moment. Now, what is the power of prayer? One of my friends and colleagues received a question regarding covid-19 and angels. The writer wanted to know what the

Who Cares?

1 Peter 5: 7 Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Whenever I ask our Father what message He wants to give to His people, His answer is always the same, “Tell My people I love them.” That is the Father’s heart and that is the message He is sending today through this devotional. If you read no further, just hear, “Your Father, Yahweh, loves you!” Today the message of His love comes in the form of His care for you. There are two things I want to discuss about this verse. First, it’s just about

Shekinah Glory

Psalm 97: 3 All around him burns a blazing glory-fire consuming all his foes. This passage reminds me of the Shekinah Glory of God. What is that, you ask. Do you remember the burning bush? It was engulfed in flame but did not burn up and the voice of God spoke to Moses from it. Then there was the pillar of fire that the Israelites followed in the desert. In the second book of Acts, “flames or tongues of fire” appeared to the assembled (v. 3 TLB). The Shekinah Glory of the Lord is His presence and often appears as

Father

John 16: 25, 27 But (I) will tell you plainly of the Father . . . for the Father Himself loves you. Have you ever wondered why God, chooses to be called “Father?” I mean, He is Lord High King, God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Why does He call Himself Father to a bunch of rag a muffin humans? He could choose any title or name imaginable yet He chose to be a Father. Why does He ask us to love Him rather than just to serve Him? That is an amazing question, isn’t it and an interesting

Corona Virus

As this situation wears on, it is easy to grow weary, even for people of faith.  However, we are a body, united to stand against any foe.  And, we are standing.  Christians all over the world are praying more and stronger than ever.  Bible studies go on via videoconferencing and teleconferening.  Wisdom may require that we not congregate in person right now, but we are together in the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit being the medium through which we are united.  The Spirit is able to be with you and in you right now even while he is in me and

Eyes & Ears

1 Peter 3: 12  (Psalm 34: 15) For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer. The National Day of Prayer is coming up soon, May 7th. Why should we devote an entire day to prayer? The answer is, because Dad is listening. Moreover, He is attending our prayer. I want that, don’t you? In the early part of this year I wrote that I believed Father was calling us into a deeper prayer life this year. Now we understand why. He was enlisting us in an attack on the coronavirus. Yahweh

Whose Friend are You?

Proverb 18: 24 But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. One of the things this viral attack on our world, cultures and lifestyles has done is to bring people together. Though we are separated by space and don’t get to see one another, you sure do appreciate your friends and find tenderness towards people in general. Maybe you have some friendships that have been forged during this time or strengthened. You find out who provokes tenderness in your heart and whose heart is pining for you. Perhaps you have been surprised by someone who reached out

Teamwork

Joshua 23: 9 – 11 For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God. I didn’t include this passage in yesterday’s devotion because it was already getting lengthy, but I felt you needed to see this for yourself and us discuss it a bit further. Truly,

Connected

Psalm 96: 1 – 2 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. I wrote to you last week about praise. This song is titled “A call to Worship.” I think this is worth some thought. As you read further in this psalm the author also says to take an offering to the Lord. This made me think of how we can partner with the Lord in devotional unity against the viral situation we are facing but

Courage vs. Denial

Deuteronomy 31: 6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. So, I’m working today and praying as I do and asked Father to give me a heart of courage that I may stand strong and confident during these trying times. He said to me, “Ivey, you have one of the strongest hearts I know. That does not mean that you don’t feel. There is a big difference between courage and denial.” That was an eye

Sheltering in Place

Psalm 57: 1       NLT Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. Did you know God has wings? I didn’t. I never thought about it until now though I have read these passages many times. When you picture Him, do you picture Him with wings? Have a look at Psalm 36: 7, “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings,” (NIV). God’s wings are a place of refuge for

Confident Stance

Luke 21: 25 – 28          GW “Miraculous signs will occur in the sun, moon, and stars. The nations of the earth will be deeply troubled and confused because of the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint as they fearfully wait for what will happen to the world. Indeed, the powers of the universe will be shaken. Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to happen, stand with confidence! The time when you will be set free is near.” This

A Voice of Faith

Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. First of all, I do not believe for one moment that God is out to destroy us. This virus is not His handiwork, nor His will. None the less, I believe His gaze is roaming the earth for those who will stand in the gap for the world, who will lift up a voice of faith and let truth be heard. I wrote

Praise The Lord

Psalm 95: 1 – 7       NIV Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for

What are you Saying?

Romans 4: 17        God’s Word Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don’t even exist. This is a good time to teach about Abraham. We will visit him next week as well. Today’s verse continues the thoughts of yesterday’s Word of the Day. And so, here is the question, “What are you saying?” I love this version of the Bible and its rendition of this verse. Abraham is called the Father of faith because he believed even when the promise of

Not My House

Psalm 91: 10 No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. This verse was written for today. There are many great utterances from the Lord which are appropriate for our current situation and I will be sending them to you over the next weeks but is there any verse more timely than this? Psalm 91 is such a great chapter anyway. If you have not read it in a while, take some time to read it. You will find it greatly encouraging. You may find yourself thinking that the author was looking through a crystal

Prayer Time

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. Never was there a more appropriate time for this verse, at least in our own lives. The world has suffered many challenges throughout history, but the coronavirus has touched almost every country in the world and that is big. This is our time. Wherever you live in the world, your nation needs you to pray. For once we do not have the excuse of being too busy. For once, we have time to spend with God. Before too long, we will look back at this period in history and we will either be able

Carried Away

Matthew 8: 16 – 17 And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” What do you love about this verse? We’ve read this before, but it has taken on new meaning in this current viral situation. Or, at least it’s importance and meaning are more present in our thinking. Personally, I love the part that says

Confidence Pill

Psalm 94: 14 For the lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. This verse does not need a lot illumination. It is understandable on its face. It is some good news though and that we need a lot of right about now. Also, this is a verse which may be easy to share with others. It is simple and straight to the point. Probably the best use of this verse is as a confidence builder. I am reminded of medicines you take by holding them under your tongue until they dissolve. This verse is like

Immune Boost

Proverb 4: 20-23 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body. I know I said I wasn’t going to send out the Word of the Day this week but there is something that is really nagging me. There are a couple of things which seem to be missing from the national dialogue. One of those is that there are things you can do

Coffee Break

          Mark 6:46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. Greetings Friends, While I am taking a break, I want you to know there is plenty of content on my website to keep you fed for weeks.  Click here and enjoy hundreds of messages to keep you encouraged and uplifted.  You can also scroll down the right hand side and see topics I have written on.  Click on a topic or a verse and all of the messages on that topic or containing that verse will display.  I think you will find

Bird Song

Matthew 6: 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? As I sit here working in my office, I can hear the birds happily chirping outside. They are celebrating the arrival of spring. Listening to them, the world seems so normal. They haven’t a care in the world and, apparently, haven’t heard of corona virus. If I were to turn on the television or even go to my email inbox, I would see a

Angels with Fire

Hebrews 1: 7              New Living Translation Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.” This is the vision the Lord gave me regarding Covid-19. And I need to thank my friend, Chris, who came up with this verse after reading this in the Prayer Request email which is part of Ivey Ministry’s Prayer ministry.   This virus is being propelled across the country via a highway of fear. We need to stand together and stand against this menace. While I was praying about it

Prayer Power

Acts 6: 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. On March 3, 2020 I wrote that I believed God was calling us to prayer this year. I wish I had taken that Word from God more seriously and done more praying, but I say, it is not too late. I think everyone can understand, now, why our Beloved was calling us to prayer. Our Father loves us and wants not even one of us to come to harm. That is why He called us to prayer. He is our love and our

Wisdom Without Fear

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ I have coined a new expression that is my guide for this time of extreme confusion over the corona virus. It is “Wisdom without Fear.” We should exercise reasonable caution throughout the flu and cold season anyway, but especially now with the corona virus spreading. However, we should not be in a panic. We are called to meet calamity with

Our God Reigns!

Psalm 93: 1 The LORD reigns. That should be enough said. That should be enough for all and yet . . .. The panic over this corona virus is insane, but here is my question, “Are all the people who are out buying yards and yards of toilet paper and who are closing their businesses, are they all unsaved people?” In other words, are Christians part of the panicking horde? Clearly, the answer is yes. Churches have cancelled services. Really? Instead of cancelling services we should simply change them to prayer services. Are you afraid of congregating more than 20

Advance Team

Deuteronomy 31: 8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” To what can you apply this verse in your life? You know we all have areas of our lives where we don’t stand quite as firmly. When we find them, though, we can throw this verse at them and be renewed in our faith. Every word of this verse is wonderful, but I love the idea that the Lord, our God, is going before us to prepare the

Fear, Go!

Judges 6:23 The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” I must write again on the Corona virus, or more to the point, the spread of the virus. I have been amazed at the reaction to this virus. It seems that the reaction has been stronger than with previous contagious diseases. This has moved me to tell you one thing which feeds and spreads the virus at least as much as any other factor. Fear. Fear is fueling the spread of Covid 19. One of my friends brought up a good point recently.

Heal the Wounds

Isaiah 61: 1             Passion Translation The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me because Yahweh has anointed me, . . . He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted. I have been thinking on this verse for some time now and I am not sure that we fully embrace its meaning or significance for our own personal experience. So, today, let’s think about the brokenhearted. Who are they? What does this verse imply or express for them? First, who are the brokenhearted? Well, at some level it is each of us,

Praise

Psalm 92: 1 – 4 It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, with the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, with resounding music upon the lyre. For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. How good is your praise? When I read passages like this, I am both encouraged and disappointed. I am encouraged because I see what praise can

Healing Virus

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds. Okay, I will admit that today’s title sounds a little odd. Blame your Dad! That is just the way He said it to me. The point is, Jesus is on site, in your body, healing you. Have you ever had a fever blister (cold sore)? If you ever have or ever do, the virus that causes the sore remains resident in your body forever. That struck me. Why does it not always cause a sore but sometimes will. Then our Father showed me

Obedience

Exodus 24: 7 Then he (Moses) took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!’ We know that the Israelites did not always do everything as God directed. In addition, they often complained bitterly to Moses. And yet, they did have the best intentions at this point in time. Is this like many of us? We have the very best of intentions but somehow, we get off track. Then we need a reminder so that we can

Restful Presence

“My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Lest there be doubt, this is the voice of God speaking – to you! What a fabulous statement and promise. Perhaps this is one of those “promises” that you want to claim as your own. Maybe post it in your office or on in your car. Even while you are the go, while you are active, God is not only with you, but He will give you rest. You do not have to go in the power of your might, but rather by His. He will be the

Year of Prayer

Acts 6: 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. At the beginning of the year many ministers seek the Lord for a word about what the new year will hold for believers. Some of you may have noticed that I was quiet on the topic this year. The reason was that I did not seek the Lord on the subject, I rarely do, but He often speaks something to me. I didn’t feel like I had heard Him this year, but now I am certain that I did, and have. I actually

Going Viral?

Psalm 91: 3 For it is He who delivers you from the . . . deadly pestilence. Here is what I have to say about and to the coronavirus, “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you,’” (Isaiah 41: 13). God has faced this problem before, and He has already spoken to the problem. He tells us to put our trust in Him because He is our shield and refuge. He delivers us from the pestilence. He guards our homes and health. When the plagues

Sacrifice

Hosea 6: 6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. I have been thinking about Lent a lot this year. Often, we think about what we might give up for Lent. Some people give up a particular food. For others it might be giving up a sport or recreational activity or even television for a time. Those sacrifices are about moving things out of the way which may interfere with devotion. In the same vein, but perhaps the other side of the coin, I have been thinking about what

Called

Isaiah 45: 2 – 3 “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” What is most exciting here, that God will smooth out the rough places, give you hidden wealth or that you are called by name? One exciting bit is that God is willing to prove by these

Ditto

Matthew 7: 7 – 8          GW Ask, and you will receive . . . Everyone who asks will receive. Yesterday I wrote about speaking the result you desire when you pray. That is a very important part of prayer. No sooner had the email gone out than did God prove his word to me and to a grandmother who relied on her profession of faith for her grandchild. My friend, Ann, wrote that her son sent her a message that his newborn was having digestion issues. Ann says she began praying that the child’s digestive system

Sand and Stars

Romans 4: 17                Tree of Life Version He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist. This verse speaks about Abraham and says that he is our Father in faith. He is our faith example. We learn from him as he learned from God. God had to teach Abraham how to stand in faith. It wasn’t an intrinsic trait, but God was the example to Abraham teaching him that he must speak the end

Let Us See

Psalm 90: 16 – 17         TPT Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for. O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do. This is my prayer. How can it not be? Oh, dear Lord, let your glory fall in our presence and show us the wonder of you. Revive our hearts with and by your grace. Let the radiance of your presence

My Heroes

Luke 6: 38         KJV Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. I don’t use the King James version very often because I don’t speak Elizabethan English. Occasionally, though, there are verses that I just hear in the old KJV and you may as well. This is one of those verses. We understand, at least at one level, what this verse means. Taking a look

Lucky or Blessed?

Deuteronomy 28: 12 The LORD will . . . bless all the work of your hand. As many of you know, last year at the MS Bike ride, I won a bicycle. It was very exciting. At a different event I won a Jersey shadow box. Recently there was a drawing in an exercise class and, yep, I won. Yea! People have been saying I should go to Las Vegas. Others said, “We need to get in the car right now and go buy a lottery ticket.” Truthfully, I love winning. It is exciting and fun, but I still don’t

Ouch!

Ephesians 4:29              The Passion Translation And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them. Wow! After yesterday’s Word of the Day on encouragement, this verse speaks volumes. Words are the cornerstones of encouragement. One side of this verse is probably what you thought of yesterday when reading on encouragement. That is to specifically and intentionally say things which will bring encouragement and uplifting thoughts to others. The other side of encouragement is

Encourage

1 Thessalonians 5: 11    GW Therefore, encourage each other and strengthen one another as you are doing. I received an email last week from a dear soul who receives the Word of the Day and it reminded me of this verse. There are others like this one, teaching us to be encouragers to one another. I have written on this call to encourage before, but it struck me a little differently last week. I thought about how much the notes you send bless me and how they keep me going when the task of writing a daily devotional gets

There is a Log in My Eye

Matthew 7: 1 Do not judge. I was reading a little book of quotes the other day. It is fun little book because it has quotes from people aged 5 to 95. This one jumped out at me, “I’ve learned that when you judge others, you are revealing your own fears and prejudices.” One of the things that bothers me about the modern church is how judgmental and exclusionary we are. Sometimes it feels like the Christian church is a club where membership is limited to those few we deem acceptable. The rest of the folks are just going to

God Ideas

John 16: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. God has promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us but how do you know something is a God idea? How do you know that He is guiding you with that thought? Well, recently I got a good taste of a God idea and thought I would share the revelation of it while it is fresh in my mind. One of the clearest signs that the idea that popped into my head was God’s thinking rather than mine was that it

Trees and Grass

Psalm 1: 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 37: 1 – 2 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. One of my neighbors cut down all of his trees because, he said, “They are killing my grass.” I thought, what a metaphor for life this is.

Meditative Transformation

Romans 12: 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. I heard an interesting comment recently. Dr. James Richards said, “Renewing the mind, if you don’t mix meditation with it, is nothing but an exercise in ego and intellectualism.” Whoa!!! That is a big statement. The Apostle Paul tasked us with renewing our minds. The problem is, most of us don’t know how. So, we begin to try to “change” our

Gloom, Despair, Agony

Psalm 88: 13 – 18 I cry out to you for help, O Lord, and in the morning my prayer will come into your presence. Why do you reject my soul, O Lord? Why do you hide your face from me? Ever since I was young, I have been suffering and near death. I have endured your terrors, and now I am in despair. Your burning anger has swept over me. Your terrors have destroyed me. They swirl around me all day long like water. They surround me on all sides. You have taken my loved ones and friends far

Cleansing Waters

Genesis 6: 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. Was the flood an act of grace? Does that sound like a ridiculous question? I received a comment mixed in with the prayer requests this week. The author was perplexed at how God could “kill” so many people especially since murder is a sin. It set me to thinking and hence the question I first posed. How would you analyze this problem? Well, I began by

God of Hope

Romans 15: 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. We never have to be without hope because God sent us the Holy Spirit through whom we always have hope. And in hope we can be continuously filled with joy and peace. When you let go of hope you will find that joy and peace leave as well. But we can always abide with all three because wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is hope. I

Hope Too

Romans 5: 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given. Don’t lose hope because, just like love, hope does not fail. Even though the horizon may look troublesome, do not give in to fear and hopelessness. Your hope is in the Lord Jesus, our Father and the Holy Spirit who they sent to us. The love that was poured out to us is the anchor of our hope because that love can never fail. It is pure, secure and determined. That love brought

Hope

Acts 2: 26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will abide in hope. It is a horrible thing to live without hope, and yet there are many people who are doing just that. But you don’t have to be without hope any longer. Jesus brought hope into the world. Now you can be free of dejection, depression and sorrow. When Jesus went to the cross, died and rose again, he accomplished more than salvation for your eternal soul. He brought hope into a dying world. He became hope. He died that we might

Holy Hill

Psalm 87             GW The city the Lord has founded stands on holy mountains. 2 The Lord loves the city of Zion more than any other place in Jacob. 3 Glorious things are said about you, O city of God!           Selah 4 The Lord says, “I will add Egypt and Babylon as well as Philistia, Tyre, and Sudan to the list of those who acknowledge me. Each nation will claim that it was born there.” 5 But it will be said of Zion, “Every race is born in it. The Most

Doing Christianity

Psalm 119: 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes forever, even to the end. The New Testament equivalent of this verse is found in James 1: 22 where James, the half-brother of Jesus, importunes us to “prove” ourselves “to be doers of the word, not merely hearers.” James teaches us that it is not enough to go to church and listen to a minister tell us about the Word of God. We need to take the word we hear and put it into action. The psalmist from this passage in Psalm 119 has made that transition. He

Truth and Freedom

John 8: 31 – 32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” This is an oft quoted passage but misquoted in a sense. The truth will not set you free. It is knowing the truth that sets people free. Truth is all around us, but it is only when we get a revelation of the truths that are pertinent to us that they can affect our lives for the good.

Blessed

Psalm 86: 17             GW Grant me some proof of your goodness so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame. The psalmist wanted God to give him a sign that everyone could see, a sign of God’s affection. Essentially, he wanted evidence that he was favored by God so that his enemies would ashamed that they had attacked the child of God. Sometimes I think a similar way. I pray the blessing of the Lord will show on us so that all people will see it and know that Yahweh

Who Dares?

Psalm 15: 1 Lord, who dares to dwell with you? Who presumes the privilege of being close to you, living next to you in your shining place of glory? Who are those who daily dwell in the life of the Holy Spirit? One of the people who dared to live in that close proximity with the Lord was David, who is the writer of this psalm. He understood the great prestige of walking with Yahweh. Do we dare presume the privilege of living “next to (His) shining place of glory?” What does that even mean? What is this shining place

Honoring Your Name

Psalm 86: 11 – 12                  TPT Teach me more about you, how you work and how you move, so that I can walk onward in your truth until everything within me brings honor to your name. With all my heart and passion I will thank you my God! I hardly know what to write about this passage. This is a prayer from David, and it sounds like it, doesn’t it? I was first attracted to the section about teaching us to move like Him, work like Him but then I am over-taken

The River

Lamentations 3: 22 – 23        NLV The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. This is the same verse as yesterday, but I sent you a different version. Today I am going to share with you my personal journaling which came out of this verse. Sometimes as I meditate on scripture, Father gives me something for the Word of the Day. Sometimes, it’s just for me. This was just a bit of imagery, nothing serious. None the less, I hope you enjoy it

Ruminations

Lamentations 3: 22 – 23       NRSV The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I have a new journal, a gift from a friend. This morning I turned to the page with this verse and found myself pondering it. As I turned it over in my mind, I wondered if this might provide a good opportunity to show you what meditation can look like. Now I know some of you are old hands at meditating on scripture but bear with the rest

Prophetic Utterance

Deuteronomy 18:15       Complete Jewish Bible  “ADONAI will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him.” I have been looking at this verse for some time now. What do you think of it? One of my reactions to it goes back to yesterday’s verse. People are so easily offended these days that it makes the job of a pastor a challenge. How do you say what people need to hear if they so easily take offense? I have also noticed a general sense of bringing

Peace, Patience, Tolerance

Proverbs 19:11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. I am studying “glory” which is how I found this verse. I wrote it down and came back to it today. Apparently, it is to our glory to overlook offense. That’s not something I have heard often. You will be very blessed by reading this verse in several other translations but let me share one more with you. This is the God’s Word version, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an

Speak Yahweh

Psalm 85: 8 I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly. I hope you are enjoying Psalm Mondays. The psalms seem to be providing a good start to the week. Hearing God is a good way to begin the week too. As you read through different Bible versions for today’s scripture you gain a perspective that hearing God is an intentional act. In other words, the psalmists determined to listen to God and we can too. Another thing I

Night Watches

Psalm 63: 5 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. I thought I would share the secret of David’s success for those who wish to know it. It’s two-fold. First, David remembered the Lord. That’s a very good start. He thought about the Lord. He remembered that the Lord, our God, was his constant companion and his strong right arm. So, at night, when he had bedded down the sheep, he remembered God. Part two – when David remembered God, he then meditated on Him. What does that mean? He didn’t just

Fullness of Joy

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. There are easily several messages contained in this passage. The one that shouts most loudly to me today is there is fullness of joy in His presence. There is joy in Jesus, which means there is an answer to depression. I want to say it this way, there is no need to be depressed. Here me though, this isn’t to make light of depression and anxiety. Rather, the purpose of my comments is

Presence

Hebrews 13: 5                  Passion Translation Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” I was listening to some old music the other day when Desperado by the Eagles played. I was only half listening, but this line grabbed my attention, “Your prison is walking through this world all alone.” I reacted, “How true but we need never be alone.” Our

Favor and Light

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land, and their own arm did not save them, but Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, for You favored them. Here is a good example of partnership with God and I hope you find it encouraging because the favor of God was sufficient weaponry to possess the land. What land are you trying to take? Is it a new job, financial security, a big project? How about raising kids? Whatever your big goals, you don’t have to do it in the power

Sunshine

Psalm 84: 11 – 12 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You! Let’s start off this week with some good news. Which sentence or phrase above holds the best news for you? It’s all good. May I share the God’s Word version with you as well, “The Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord grants favor and honor. He does not hold back any blessing from

Chrysalis

Psalm 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle while the wicked are in my presence.” You know, I was just missing David so here is a quip from a psalm of David. The more time I spend with David’s writings the more I like him and the more I learn. I told you that meditating on God’s goodness has a transformative effect on the inside of you. Well, the more time I spend with David, the more I see how close and

Revival

Isaiah 57: 15 For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Although God lives in a high and holy place, above and beyond all that we can even imagine, He also has come to make His abode with each of us. Why? So that He can revive us. No matter how weary you become; no matter how stressed and

Goodness

Psalm 83: 16- 18 Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek Your name, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. This is a very human sentiment. In fact, I would wager most of us have had this same feeling at one time or another. Sometimes we might feel these emotions towards our foes. At other times, perhaps, it is the thought we have towards the unsaved critics of our

Father Christmas

Matthew 1: 18 – 21 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her

Hey Kids!

Psalm 82: 6 I said, “You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.” This is a challenging bit of scripture, but the key is that it is scripture. If you value scripture as God’s word to us, then you have to deal with troublesome passages instead of reading over them and discarding them. In context, God was talking about the lost people in the world. They are lost and without understanding, He said. His next words are, but I have made you Gods and sons of the Most High. In other words, if there are

Prayer

Job 22: 28 “You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways.” I want to change the way you and I think about prayer. As we charge into year 2020, I believe this is a great time to do so. I hope you have big plans for 2020. We are beginning a new decade and one that has been dreamed about for years. Science Fiction books and movies looked forward to this coming year and now it is upon us. Let’s have a great year and a great decade.

Immanuel

Psalm 73: 23 – 24 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. When Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah, he said the savior would be called Immanuel. Immanuel means God is with us. That is one of the most important pieces of prophecy in the entire Bible. It is a key piece of theology. God is with us. Jesus’ coming to earth, his sacrifice and subsequent resurrection change the entire dynamic between God and people. The temple moved. Instead of

Glory to God

Luke 2: 14             1599 Geneva Bible Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men good will. Before we jump into verse 14, let us recall what happened in verses one through thirteen. Shepherds were near the town of Bethlehem keeping the night watch over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the Sh’khinah glory of the Lord shone all about the angel and the shepherds. The angel’s purpose was to announce the birth of the Lord. Immediately upon telling the shepherds the good news

Quickly Defeated Foe

Psalm: 11 – 14          God’s Word But my people did not listen to me. Israel wanted nothing to do with me. So I let them go their own stubborn ways and follow their own advice. If only my people would listen to me! If only Israel would follow me! I would quickly defeat their enemies. I would turn my power against their foes. What do you hear when you read this passage? Do you see God’s sentiments towards the ancient Israelites? Perhaps you see His message to modern Jews? Perhaps it sounds like a reprimand to

Be Filled

Psalm 81: 10 “I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” This is a declaration of a God who wants to serve. What an amazing epiphany that is. have you thought of Yahweh as one to serve you? Wow! He brought each of us from our own Egypt. It is easy and not insignificant to think of the Israelites held in bondage to Egypt and its Pharaoh but that is not the complete Biblical picture. All of the stories in the Bible of past

What a Day!

Luke 2: 8 – 13           Complete Jewish Bible In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of Adonai appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of Adonai shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will

Tend the Sheep

Luke 2: 8 – 9          NLV In the same country there were shepherds in the fields. They were watching their flocks of sheep at night. The angel of the Lord came to them. Did you ever wonder why the angel appeared to shepherds? Why not clergy or statesmen? If an angel came with a message today, to whom would he appear? The answer, to those who tend the sheep. Selah. There is speculation about these shepherds. Who were they? I offer you, rather than answers, food to ponder. We know they were shepherds near Bethlehem who

What’s Love Got to Do With it?

Isaiah 9: 4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. There was a popular song by this title. I admit, it always rankled a bit because it is a song right from the heart of pain and brokenness and that is where we all were before love entered and repaired the injury of our past. Yesterday we favored a popular verse from this chapter. Verse 6 is the good news – a child

A Child is Born

Isaiah 9: 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. I find this a heart-warming passage as it brings to mind images of the baby Jesus and Christmas. It is also fascinating to me. In this one passage is so much explanation of the once foretold, now realized Messiah. Remembering that this is an Old Testament passage creates an understanding of pre-Christ expectations. Yet, I suspect most people who

New Fire

Psalm 80: 3 Revive us, O God! Let your beaming face shine upon us with the sunrise rays of glory; then nothing will be able to stop us. This is as clear a revival prayer as you’d ever want to hear. It also mirrors the sentiment that many of us feel, that if God will send revival, everything will be okay. Nothing will be able to stop us when the rays of His glory shine upon us. Who could disagree with that? The idea of a revival sweeping across the land creates a terrific picture in our minds. Sometimes, though,

Not Taken, Given

John 7: 30 They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. John 10:14-15 I lay down My life for the sheep. Some people debate and rage over who killed Jesus. These become very passionate debates. Some say the Romans killed Him. Some say the Jews. When we really understand the passion of Christ, then we can finally let go of this debate. The only one who had power over Jesus’ life was Jesus. In the seventh chapter of John, those who hated Him tried to seize

Easter in Christmas

1 Peter 1: 20        TPT This was part of God’s plan, for he was chosen and destined for this before the foundation of the earth was laid, but he has been made manifest in these last days for you. I really enjoy Christmas and I feel extra close to Jesus during the Christmas season. Yesterday I was celebrating Jesus’ birth and said to him, “Jesus, thank you for being born.” Just think about that. Jesus was with God when Yahweh created the earth (John 1: 1 – 3). He witnessed and participated in the creation of the

Trust Dividend

Romans 5: 2       NLV By putting our trust in God, He has given us His loving-favor and has received us. We are happy for the hope we have of sharing the shining-greatness of God. What good news this is. When we invest our trust in God, we open our own path to happiness and His favor. I want you to see this verse from the Passion Translation as well, “Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep

The “One” Sin

Romans 5: 20      TPT So then, the law was introduced into God’s plan to bring the reality of human sinfulness out of hiding. And yet, wherever sin increased, there was more than enough of God’s grace to triumph all the more! I hear comments, and I know you do too, about how the world, and even our own cities, are falling into greater and greater sin. Some speculate that God is not as active because sin has become greater, or more prevalent. One day when I heard someone speaking in these terms it made me wonder what sin

Where Are You?!

Psalm 79: 9 – 10          TPT Our hero, come and rescue us! O God of the breakthrough, for the glory of your name, come and help us! Forgive and restore us; heal us and cover us in your love. Why should all the nations sneer at us, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” Now is the time, Lord. Asaph mourned the diminished standing of Israel. Where it once was a formidable and glorious nation, the foreign nations no longer held it in awe, no longer did they fear the prowess of the Israelites or their

Be Blessed

Numbers 24: 9 His people lie down and rest like a lion. They are like a lioness. Who dares to disturb them? Those who bless you will be blessed! Those who curse you will be cursed!” God is in the blessing business. Yesterday you probably spent some time blessing and thanking Him. You can never out bless God, though, so today He is sending a blessing back your way. And, anyone you bless will be blessed. Again, the blessing will return to you. Anyone who blesses you, shall be blessed. This is the way God’s kingdom operates. Blessing is the

Thanksgiving Offering

  Psalm 100: 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. What would you like to say to Father if you could sit with Him face to face?  Does today’s verse capture the essence of your sentiment? We are far enough removed from the harvest that we don’t experience the relief and exaltation of having a crop come in.  That is, however, what this holiday is intended to embody.  Though it is a time for family and festivities, it is ultimately the one day of the year, above all others, that

Revival

Matthew 15: 31 And the crowds marveled with rapture and amazement, astounded over the things they were witnessing with their own eyes! The lame were walking, the mute were speaking, the crippled were made well, and the blind could see. For three days everyone celebrated the miracles as they exalted and praised the God of Israel! What is most amazing in this passage to you, that the lame, blind and mute were restored or that Israel worshiped and celebrated for three days? I would love to be a fly on the wall, a time travelling fly, so that I could

Not Blind

John 9: 25 The man responded, “I don’t know if he’s a sinner or not. But I do know one thing. I used to be blind, but now I can see.” Jesus healed a blind man. Of course, the Pharisees’ response was to scoff at them both, even accusing Jesus of being a sinner. “Well,” said the blind man, “that may or may not be but this I know, he healed me.” Of course, that was a paraphrase the point being, the blind man, now the seeing man, was not interested in the Pharisees’ theology or judgments. He was interested

Remember

Psalm 78: 20 – 11        TPT They didn’t really believe the promises of God; they refused to trust him and move forward in faith. They forgot his wonderful works and the miracles of the past. Asaph delivers a history of the Israelites in the psalm. He recounts their exodus with its miracles and challenges in making the point that it is important to remember our history and, significantly, to teach it to the next generation. Failing to keep God’s blessings fresh in our minds and hearts leads to our own failure. Each generation goes through this challenge.

Presentation

Romans 12: 1 Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Yoga can be a very contemplative time and yesterday was one of those quiet, pensive times. Thoughts about my body as a temple came to me and that is what I pondered the rest of the day which brought this verse to mind. I have heard this verse preached and I have read it, both many times. Most of the time when anyone referenced this verse the language

Loose Him

John 11: 43 – 44 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” The story of Lazarus is a good metaphor for the Christian experience. Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb, from death, yet Lazarus was still bound hand and foot. A few sentences earlier Jesus told Martha, “I am . . . the life,” (v. 25). In Jesus is

The End

Psalm 77: 12 – 13          TPT I ponder all you’ve done, Lord, musing on all your miracles. It’s here in your presence, in your sanctuary, where I learn more of your ways. For holiness is revealed in everything you do. The End of all things is to learn where your power center is, and this is it. God is the source of all good. Asaph understood that when all was said, all was done, it comes back to the meditation in God’s presence. You don’t have to be in the sanctuary of the church because Jesus

Changed Heart?

Psalm 77: 10       TPT Lord, what wounds me most is that it’s somehow my fault that you’ve changed your heart toward me and I no longer see the years of the Mighty One and your right hand of power. Yesterday we saw the angst of Asaph. He groaned at the mere thought of the Lord because He felt that he had lost favor with God. What he felt was real chagrin. It pained him to think about where he stood with God and this verse explains why that thought pained him so. In his heart of hearts, he

Angst

Psalm 77: 3 – 9           NIV I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Asaph

Destructions

Psalm 107: 20 He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. This is the verse from Wednesday. I brought it back because I want to discuss the last word in the verse: destructions. The other critical word is the possessive pronoun right before it. I want to talk about “our” destructions. It is first important to notice that God has delivered us from our destructions. Remember that this is a verse on healing. It is not much of a logic leap to conclude that some of our health issues are related to destructive (destructions) things

Healing Thoughts

1 John 3:21-22 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. One of the challenges to receiving our healing is our own hearts. Sometimes our own heart condemns us so that we are unable to accept the healing that God freely offers. Worst of all, these condemning thoughts and beliefs are often buried deeply enough that, lest we take some serious time surveying our beliefs, we likely do not realize the rubbish

Healed

Psalm 107: 20 He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. There is so much nuance and richness in this verse that it is a bit like eating a very rich food. Let’s begin with “word”. To get the richness from this verse, you need to connect this verse to John 1: 1 & 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father,

The Real

Joshua 24: 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Truth be told, you are going to serve some God. It might be the money God, the workaholic God, or recreation God. You may serve manna but there are so many things which capture our devotion. An idol is anything you put

Judgment Rendered

Psalm 76: 8 – 9            GW From heaven you announced a verdict. The earth was fearful and silent when you rose to judge, O God, when you rose to save every oppressed person on earth. Selah. There is so much confusion surrounding God’s judgment. Well, today you can bask in the good news because when God arose to render His judgment, it was to save every person on earth. Selah! If you say anything about God’s judgment, most people are as described in this verse, fearful. When God arose to give His judgment, the world

Helping Hand

Galatians 5: 24 – 25 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. So many times, when people hear about passion and desire they think of sexual desire. That is a very limited view of what this passage is speaking about. Your passion for anything, your desire for anything that is not God can be a problem. When your consuming passion is for a new car, a favorite activity, food, etc. then you are serving the desires of your

Wolves and Fruit

Matthew 7: 15-16 Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Galatians 5: 22- 23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Jesus gave us a warning in chapter 7 of Matthew. He told us that in these days there would be people who would represent themselves to us a part of the flock of Jesus but in reality, they are ravenous wolves who would devour us if we

Trust

Proverb 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. This scripture was brought to my mind recently and I saw it in a new light. Trusting the Lord is a favorite theme of mine both in my ministry and in my own personal life. I have a personal saying that I wish to walk in “radical trust in the Lord.” And sometimes I have been that deep in my trust, but I find it is a difficult place to stay. The world rushes in; my own thoughts take me captive

Hater

Proverb 6: 16 – 19 There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies and one who spreads strife among brothers. This is an amazing passage to me. First of all, it is so interesting that of the things God hates, I mean really hates, He has included haughty eyes and a lying tongue. Now we all expect Him to hate hands that shed

Lifted Up

Psalm 75: 9 – 10 But as for me, I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up. It is nice knowing the conclusion of things beforehand. It brings confidence. This verse, we should take to heart and remember God’s determination for our lives. He has pre-ordained that all the righteous shall be lifted up. Your house, your name and all that you hold dear are on Yahweh’s list of glory. And by house,

Qualified

Colossians 1: 12 … giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. You are already qualified to share in the inheritance of God. Isn’t that good news? You do not have to earn it. It is done. So, give thanks. Praise the Father. He has arranged everything so that you could be His heir. Even if you do not pray every day, get in the habit of praising every day. That is really more important because God has already done everything He needed to do to bring you into

Outlandish Favor

Exodus 11: 3 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. If you know the story about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, you know that neither Moses nor the Israelites had favor in the sight of the Egyptians in the natural. They were hated and despised. Pharaoh was more than fed up with Moses and Aaron. At one point Pharaoh told Moses that if he saw

Rejected

Psalm 74: 1 – 2 O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance. Can I be honest with you? I am not in love with this psalm and had trouble choosing a segment to write on. Ultimately it was what I didn’t like that captured my attention. This is not a psalm of David and I find myself missing him. Read the entire psalm for yourself and tell me

Whose Authority?

John 12: 49 – 50               NLT “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” This is the model of ministry and it applies to clergy as well as lay people. We need only speak what the Father tells us to say. Pulpit ministry can be challenging and so can ministering to your friends. We, however, make it harder than it

Money Management

Mark 14: 3 – 7 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done

Reliance

1 Timothy 6: 17          GW Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. This is one of the greatest challenges of wealth, trusting in it rather than trusting in God. This is the story of the rich, young ruler. Jesus invited him to join the team but instructed that first he should go sell what he had and give to the poor. That

Know Love

1 John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. So, here is my question, have we come to know and do we believe the love God has for us? When I hear some of the things that come out of Christians’ mouths, I think we have not come to know the love God has for us. Have you ever heard a Christian say that God gave them, or a loved one, cancer in

Jealous Much?

Psalm 73: 1 – 3 No one can deny it—God is really good to Israel and to all those with pure hearts. But I nearly missed seeing it for myself. Here’s my story: I narrowly missed losing it all. I was stumbling over what I saw with the wicked. For when I saw the boasters with such wealth and prosperity, I became jealous over their smug security. I remember well tripping over my sense of injustice at the financial success of the unrighteous. Was I envious? Yes, and outraged. It seemed wrong to me that people who were not blessing

Rest in Grace

Matthew 8: 5 – 7 And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” Here is the latter revelation, which I mentioned in yesterday’s Word of the Day. Epiphany number two is that there is rest in grace. In fact, I would say, that the ultimate expression of God’s grace is rest. How, you might ask, do we get rest from the word grace? Well, let’s see. I won’t bore you by going over every

Grace Extended

Proverb 3: 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, yet He gives grace to the afflicted. While the simplest, and perhaps most functional, description of the word grace is “unmerited favor” it is far from a full understanding. If you run a search on the word grace and read all of the verses in which it appears, you will see that for yourself. That which began my look into the word grace was actually an observation about judgment. I wrote in my journal, “there can be no grace where there is judgment.” That was my epiphany at that moment. It

Grace 2

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Grace, the mere sound of the word is comforting. A very commonly accepted shorthand definition for grace is: unmerited favor. We have been saved by the gift of God through nothing we have done. Our only part is faith in the blood of Jesus. It was grace, the unmerited, unearned gift of God which saved our souls from hell. That is what God’s grace towards us does. Grace, however, isn’t limited to this one application nor is

Grace

John 1: 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. Grace – it is a word we little understand. Of divine grace Wikipedia writes, “Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.” The dictionary reads, “simple elegance or refinement of movement, courteous goodwill.” What is clear from these sources is that the word

True Humility

Psalm 72: 8 – 9 May he also rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, and his enemies lick the dust. You will undoubtedly sense a change of tone in this psalm. David didn’t write this one. It is written by his son, Solomon. The kingdom falls apart after Solomon, the kingdom that God gave to David for eternity. You begin to see the unravelling even here. Compare this psalm with the one’s David wrote.  Here, we find Solomon praying for himself, not

Spirit of Truth

John 14: 16 – 17 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you. Yesterday we saw the impact of truth on our lives. Because Jesus is the way to the Father, and he is the truth then the truth is the way to the Father. It is interesting, then, that as Jesus was about the leave planet earth,

The Way

John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. I was riding my bike this week when this verse came to me and at the same time, took on a whole new meaning. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus; we know that. Jesus said he is the way. Thus, he is the way to the Father. As I was riding, I heard it this way. First Yahweh brought to my mind that no one goes to the Father apart from

In Conclusion

Ephesians 4: 15 But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. Here is the conclusion of Paul’s soliloquy. This verse of Ephesians 4 could well be called the topical sentence of all that comes after it. The verses which we have examined hang on this verse. This represents the theme of the chapter. We are all supposed to be growing up into Jesus Christ himself. We are not only to grow into an image of him, but we are actually supposed to be growing up as

Kind, Tender, Forgiving

Ephesians 4: 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. And finally, be nice, for this is the way of a mature Christian. Yesterday we read Paul’s directions for the attitudes and expressions we must avoid. Today he shows us the contrast. He said don’t be a party to bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor (complaining), slander and malice. Now he is saying do be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. Think about tender-hearted for a moment. That would be the exact opposite of being hard-hearted. You will see the tender heart

All My Life

Psalm 71: 5 – 7, 14 For you are my only hope, Lord! I’ve hung on to you, trusting in you all my life. It was you who supported me from the day I was born, loving me, helping me through my life’s journey. You’ve made me into a miracle; no wonder I trust you and praise you forever! Many marvel at my success, but I know it is all because of you, my mighty protector! No matter what, I’ll trust in you to help me. Nothing will stop me from praising you to magnify your glory! David wrote this

Clearly Defined

Ephesians 4: 31 – 32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. In verse thirty, Paul told us to grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. His very next words seek to further instruct us in how to avoid distressing God’s Spirit. Put all of these things away from you; bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and malice. Don’t have them around you at all because they should not be part of the mature Christian’s walk. Most of us know, or at least have a good idea what

No Grief Please

Ephesians 4: 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. There is continuity in Paul’s teaching to the Ephesians. He begins at a basic place; redemption. Paul tells us to put on the new self that was won for us through Christ’s victory. He continues through the other verses we have looked at building upon each preceding verse; the foundation being Christ himself. Paul teaches us about truth, anger, righteousness and the tricks of the devil. Then he instructs us to keep our mouths from speaking anything except

Edifying Moment

Ephesians 4: 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. We left off last week, in our Ephesians series, talking about how to react when angered. Here is what Father God would have you do when you are angry. Rather than giving place to the devil we are supposed to say things which are edifying. To edify means to build up. In other words, we are to speak those words which build up

Gladness

Psalm 70: 4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad because of you. Let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” This is a good meditation. Can those who seek Yahweh really be glad? Is there really something in seeking Him which can bring us joy? Our theology says so but does our life, our attitude, our words? Do we go about proclaiming, “God is great!” I think we believe it but in our busy days we are not always in touch with the deep thoughts of our own minds and hearts. David’s world was

Angry Expression

Ephesians 4: 26 -27 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. This is the verse I have been working my way towards for several days now. The point of all of this is for Paul to tell us not to give the devil an opportunity in our lives. An opportunity for what? Well, Jesus told us in John 10: 10 that the devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Therefore, we want to keep the door closed to the devil so

Holiness & Truth

Ephesians 4: 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Now that we have put on the new self that Jesus bought for each of us, we are to interact with each other in the holiness that He has provided. Look, it is time we stopped acting like the devil, especially in our relations with one another. But, do you know what it takes for us to stop acting like the devil? It takes surrender. God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, has provided everything we need

New Creature

Ephesians 4: 24 . . . and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. You have been created a new creature. You have been created in righteousness and truth. Jesus said in John 14: 6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” You have been created in the truth because Jesus is the truth and you are the righteousness of God because Jesus gave you right standing with God through his blood. That is what righteousness means, “right standing with God.” In this

Deceived

Ephesians 4: 22 – 23 . . . that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Today we will begin a series on Ephesians. I think we can glean much more from these passages when taken together. Putting off the old man is where our Christian walk begins so a good place for us to begin this short study. The devil has deceived us with the lusts of the flesh, whether

Structural Integrity

Psalm 69: 31 – 33 For I know, Yahweh, that my praises mean more to you than all my gifts and sacrifices. All who seek you will see God do this for them, and they’ll overflow with gladness. Let this revive your hearts, all you lovers of God! For Yahweh does listen to the poor and needy and will not abandon his prisoners of love. There is a lot of good news in this passage. David was tormented when he wrote this psalm, but he resolved into praise and praise boosted his confidence that Yahweh would, indeed, rescue him from

Receive

Galatians 3: 13 – 14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. In the Old Testament when God promised that He would pour out the Holy Spirit He sometimes made the promise to the nation of Israel but more often said that He would pour out the Spirit on all mankind. You

Fill ‘er up

Ephesians 5: 18 [B]e filled with the Spirit. God does not only want you to have a little bit of His Spirit, He wants you to be full to overflowing. Well, that is His nature after all, isn’t it? In everything He does He likes to fill us and more so that our every need is met with plenty left over for others. He never leaves the smallest portion of us unfilled or unfulfilled. After promising the Holy Spirit for many years, it is not a surprise to me that He wants to completely fill us with this promise. There

Divine Wisdom

Acts 2: 32 – 33 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. This verse unites many of the themes we have seen in the scriptures we have looked at regarding the Holy Spirit. God, multiple times, made a promise to pour out the Holy Spirit upon all mankind. Jesus, then, told us that it was imperative for Him to leave so that

Resident

John 1: 33 He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come “on” someone and that person would perform anointed works. Gideon blew his horn; many prophesied. But the Holy Spirit would lift off them after their task was accomplished. He did not come upon them and remain. The time of the Holy Spirit was not yet. John the Baptist baptized in water but announced that one was coming after him who would baptize in the Holy Spirit

Desert Dweller

Psalm 68: 6 God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. It is easy for us to get “religious” and when we do, we create a whole bunch of sayings, expressions, doctrine and habits that are not Biblical. Today’s verse points out one of those religious ideas that is completely foreign to God. It has become rather common for Christians to talk about being in a desert period. This is a religious idea, meaning more about man-made conception that Spirit led reality. There was the time

Power

Acts 1: 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. We know something about God, and we know Jesus but who, really, is the Holy Spirit? The answer is that He is the power of God, the creative force of God. In the first chapter of Genesis we see that the earth was formless but the Holy Spirit was moving (or hovering) over the surface of the waters. Then God spoke the word and the Holy Spirit responded to that spoken word and created all that God spoke. So, by the Holy Spirit God

The Gift

Luke 11: 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? The Father promised the Holy Spirit to His people for years. Then when the appointed time came, the Holy Spirit was poured out onto all who would receive; all who ask. Jesus promised that all who would ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit would receive. God is not trying to make you earn this gift. He is not withholding the Holy Spirit or reserving it

Time of Delivery

John 7: 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Jesus was speaking to a crowd and teaching them of the things to come. In fact, he was teaching them about the Holy Spirit. This statement indicates that the Spirit is to be received. In other words, He is a gift and those who wish to receive the gift shall have it. But the Holy Spirit is not going to be forced on those who are unable to

The Role of the Holy Spirit

John 14: 16               (Amplified Version) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s psalm, indeed that you are enjoying Psalm Mondays. It is a good way to start the week. Today I want to continue the series I began last week on the Holy Spirit. It is my hope that these several days we are spending on the Holy Spirit give you an inside look at who the Spirit is

Let All Praise

Psalm 67: 1 – 5 God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us— Selah. 2 That Your way may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah. 5 Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Indeed, let all the people of the world praise

Planned Exit

John 16: 7, John 14: 16-17 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away; the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth.” As the end of Jesus’ ministry approached, he told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and be offered up as a sacrifice. His disciples were understandably distressed

Pouring

“I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.” Joel 2: 28 “And I will pour out … the Spirit of grace and of supplication.” Zechariah 12: 10 “I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 39: 29 Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on High. Isaiah 32: 15 I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring. Isaiah 44: 3 Father God started promising the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon us long, long ago. Here are some quotes from the Old Testament where God made this promise to us. The

Prepared

Acts 1: 4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” he said, “you heard of from Me . . ..” Before Jesus sent the disciples out to teach and preach the good news of the Messiah arisen and alive, he prepared them. Part of that preparation was for the disciples to receive the promise from the Father which Jesus said that he had spoken to them about. What was this long awaited promise? Jesus tells them in the very next phrase. Acts 1: 5 reads, “for

Spirit of Promise

Luke 24: 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. Jesus made this statement during the forty-day period between his resurrection and ascension. He was preparing his disciples for the ministry ahead of them. Shortly they would form the new church and would have to carry out all the administration and teaching of a brand new religion. He had to minister to them to get them from their deep sorrow to the dynamic profession of the faith.

Labor of Love

  Colossians 3: 23 – 24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. A strong society requires a strong labor force.  It is an honor to labor in the name of the Lord Jesus.  As we celebrate the role of labor in building this country, we should remember that generations of hard working Americans are to be credited for the luxuries we enjoy today.  There is joy in doing a job

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Psalm 37: 4 Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Let us look at this verse a little differently today. Let’s drop off the end of it and think about the first part, “Delight yourself in the Lord.” What do you think it means to delight yourself in the Lord? It sounds like we are supposed to make ourselves a delight to the Lord. That is not what it means, though. The language is odd but the Passion Translation clarifies this statement for us, “Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7: 12 Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. I have a couple of observations about this verse today. First, I don’t hear this proverb bantered about these days like I used to. Is it still in vogue? I think Jesus would say it is still applicable. Another observation, Jesus said that this one principle satisfies the entire law as well as all the instruction from the prophets. In other words, today’s verse, when we live it, fulfills everything that was written in the Old Testament, all

Benevolent

Ezekiel 23: 30 And I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Perhaps you have heard this verse before. It is usually taught as a lament that God could find no one to pray for the land. There were no faithful people anywhere; no one who was willing to dedicate themselves to prayer. There is another aspect to this verse worth considering for there is another player involved, i.e. Yahweh Himself. What was going

Shake Up

Matthew 27: 50 – 53 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two form the top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Try to wrap your mind around all of this for a moment. We generally accept that Jesus arose from the grave

Forever, and Ever

Psalm 66: 22          TPT I will forever praise this God who didn’t close his heart when I prayed and never said no when I asked him for help. He never once refused to show me his tender love. As I look back on my journey of faith, I notice how my attitudes have changed. I recall the zealousness of being a new believer. That was a fun time. I so well remember the new awakening when I became spirit filled and how that changed my life forever. Then a conference, a prophetic dream and an emergence

Streams of Water

Jeremiah 31: 9 I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel. I say it often but for those who are new to the Word of the Day, fill in your name in place of Israel. I actually take a pencil and line through Israel in my Bible and fill in Ivey. You can too. I have this passage outlined in my Bible. I really was not going to send another verse out of Jeremiah today, but I just couldn’t help it. I

With You, With Me

Matthew 28: 20 I am with you always, even to the end of the age. I had an interesting conversation with our Father this week. Let me share honestly and be completely transparent. I have had a bit of a frustrating week, not bad mind you, just some hiccups that I have allowed to derail me a bit. By the way, the remedy for this is always the same for me, spend more time with my Dad. And, so I did. We were talking about Him always being with me and truthfully, I felt a little selfish and told Him

Rewarded

Jeremiah 31: 16 “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. Have you ever labored in vain, or at least what seemed in vain? Are you spending time and energy right now that doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit for you? Well, God has a good word for you today. Your labor is not in vain. Your work will be rewarded. I have to believe that God’s word is true and that as you sow, you shall reap. If you are sowing seeds with your effort, then God will

State of Being

Jeremiah 30: 17 “For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,” declares the Lord. There are many healing verses and stories in the Bible. The aspect of this one that is useful is that it addresses wounds. In this verse, God does not only contemplate illness, but injuries as well. If you have an injury rather than a sickness, you may like this verse. Our bodies were designed for health and healing. They were engineered by Yahweh to heal. I can prove it to you. Have you ever had a paper cut? Do

Awe Inspiring

Psalm 65: 2, 5          TPT You are the God who answers prayer; all of humanity comes before you with their requests. You answer our prayers with amazing wonders and with awe-inspiring displays of power. You are the righteous God who helps us like a father. Everyone everywhere looks to you, for you are the confidence of all the earth, even to the farthest islands of the sea. Even people who don’t know God, even people who say they don’t believe there is a God, know whom to call when the chips are down. I like to

Ashamed

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. To fully appreciate this verse you have to first remind yourself what salvation means to the Jewish writer. Salvation to the Jew is much broader than our narrow view. Many people think of salvation only in terms of not having to spend eternity in hell. Yes, that’s part of it but to God and to Paul salvation would be akin to Shalom. It means that we are saved

Placement

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Did you know you have a choice in where God exists in your life? David was the one who set the Lord before Him and at His right hand. Where do you want God? David put God where He was always in sight. That was how he combatted the fear which could have so easily overwhelmed him. It is how he had the confidence and faith that his enemies would be vanquished. Every day, he saw problems in

Peace

John 14: 27           TPT “I leave the gift of peace with you – my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts – instead, be courageous!” There is no version of this verse which is not excellent. I chose the Passion Translation because it makes clear that Jesus gave us the gift of peace, his own peace he gave to us. Not only is it superior to the peace the world has to offer, it is perfect. Imagine that

Wall of Separation

Isaiah 58: 3 Why have we fasted and thou dost not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice? This is an age old question. Father, we are doing what we should do. Behold our righteousness. Yet, you are far off. You do not hearken to the voice of your people. Why is the Almighty God silent and impotent? I love the book of Isaiah. He shows us that each one of us is Zion. We are that piece of the nation of Israel encapsulated in the guise of one person. As Isaiah speaks about the nation

Snakebite

Psalm 64: 8 So they will make him stumble; their own tongue is against them. David wrote this psalm as a complaint against a group of people who were gossiping about and plotting against him. In the end, it is their own words and schemes which will trip them up. That is the way with gossip, the outcome of treachery. You may feel vindicated if someone has been badmouthing you. Take solace in the fact that their words will eventually turn around and bite them. If you are prone to gossip, heed this warning. Gossip is like a snake, you

Non-profit

Hebrews 4: 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. God’s Word is powerful and has the ability to set people free from any enslaving condition or circumstance. Only, however, if they mix the Word with faith. It is faith which energizes the Word you hear. Think about that for a moment. Do you remember the story about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed? Jesus said of

Death and Taxes

Acts 1: 2 – 3 [U]ntil the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. There was a period of forty days between when Jesus was resurrected and when He ascended to heaven when He made several appearances to his disciples. He had his body and was alive. He ate with them and

Mirror Image

Hebrews 1: 3       TPT The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image! Jesus is the exact representation of God. You can see some great expressions of this idea by reading this verse in a variety of translations. Here are a few: WE – He is just like God himself, CJB – The very expression of God’s essence, NLV – The Son is as God is in every way. When you look at Jesus, you have seen the Father. That is such an important statement. If you love Jesus,

Dangerous Language

Romans 1:29 – 31 [B]eing filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful. Paul is describing a wretched group of people here. First, he shows the malevolence with which they are filled and then he tells us how those things manifest. He begins with “they are gossips” and then goes on through some pretty atrocious attributes. It strikes me that he begins this list of horrible characteristics with gossiping. One would think Paul

Energy Drink

Psalm 63: 2             TPT I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory. This is another Psalm of David’s. He did not write every psalm, but he did write a good many of them. Verse one reminds us why God said David was a man after God’s own heart. It reads, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no

Pondering

Psalm 77: 6 I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders. I really like this scripture. It has a nice feeling to it, but it also shares some key insights to meditation. For example, did you notice that the author meditates with his heart? Well, that’s not very western of him. Oh yeah, he wasn’t western. Our faith originates in the east. No wonder some of these ideas perplex us. The author goes on to say that his spirit ponders. Okay. Let’s pick up our meditation series right there. First,

Breathe, Meditate (Part 2)

Psalm 46: 10             TPT Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. Let’s continue our look at meditation today. I hope you have concluded that meditation is a vital part of the Christian walk. If you have not, then you might want to conduct a search on the word meditate. Secondly, I hope you have decided to make it part of your walk with Christ. The first step in effective meditation comes from Psalm 46: 10. The NLT reads, “Be still, and know that I am

Breathe, Meditate

Joshua 1: 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. This is one of those “stand out” verses in the Bible. Some Christian circles use it a lot while others don’t teach it quite as much. Even fewer teach what it means to meditate or how to do it. I am going to use it today as

Let Go, Know God

Psalm 46: 10        GW Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. Yesterday I used today’s verse in making a broader point. Today I want to take you into it more in depth. Yesterday I used the NLT version of Psalm 46: 10 which says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” In order to see God’s hand manifested in our lives, we have to be still, quiet and allow Him to be God. Without the benefit of stillness and quiet, it is challenging to hear God. Another very important aspect

Quietly

Psalm 62: 1, 5         NLT I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. I hope you are enjoying Psalm Mondays. I am. We are, in a practical way, getting to look particularly at David’s thought life and relationship with God. Today’s verse gives a great insight to David’s success. It also may point out a liability that we deal with in the modern society which David was not hampered by. David learned to be still, quiet, even silent before

Chosen

Isaiah 41: 9 I have chosen you and not rejected you. Did you know that God has chosen you? Do you know that you are precious to him? Sometimes we think that the only people God has chosen and called are those called into ministry. That just isn’t true. It took me awhile to understand the call on my life but now I can help you. I thought He was calling me into business as a Christian business person. Then I thought He was calling me into law. And while those were appointments for a time, I finally realized that

Good God!

Psalm 73: 1       TPT No one can deny it—God is really good to Israel and to all those with pure hearts. But I nearly missed seeing it for myself. I have just returned from an Impact Ministry conference with Dr. Jim Richards. It was a special weekend with a special acknowledgement of Jim’s sister, Pat Richards. I am sure as time goes on, more and more will filter through my mind about what I learned. The takeaway that I loved most, though, was this statement from Dr. Richards, “God is good, and only good.” That is the point

Sharp & Strong

Isaiah 41: 15 Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; you will thresh the mountains, and pulverize them, and will make the hills like chaff. God has made you something strong. You are no longer weak. Do you see who you are in His eyes? By and through Him, you are mighty and powerful. Is there a mountain looming over you? Well, God has made you able to demolish it so that it becomes little more than a memory. You will look around and say, “Where is that mountain that terrorized me?” All that

Goodness

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. The Lord is good. That doesn’t sound like a huge revelation perhaps, but you might be surprised how many Christians have not come to that conclusion yet. He is good and He does good. He is not bad, and He does not do bad things to us. He is full to overflowing with goodness and He rains His goodness on us. He is also a strong fortress in our day of need. What does it mean that He

Vow of Love

Psalm 61: 7 – 8 I will live enthroned with you forever! Guard me, God, with your unending, unfailing love. let me live my days walking in grace and truth before you. And my praises will fill the heavens forever, fulfilling my vow to make every day a love gift to you! Wow, what a vow! I never thought of that one, did you? Make every day a love offering to the Lord. No wonder David had the relationship with the Father that he did. No wonder he could hear the voice of God. He prayed earnestly, expecting God to

Restoration

2 Chronicles 31: 4 In addition, he required the people in Jerusalem to bring the prescribed portion of their income to the priests and Levites, so they could devote themselves fully to the law of the Lord. This is the continuing story about Hezekiah and his efforts to restore the temple and the people of God. It puts me in remembrance of a ministers’ conference I attended a couple of years ago. I was shocked at the number of ministers who either worked a second job or were building a multi-level marketing company as a means of making ends meet.

Project Planning

2 Chronicles 31: 21             NLT Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful. I have written on this verse before and no wonder, it is a very poignant verse. Notably there is instruction to seek God “wholeheartedly” and that is the point I have spoken to before. As I read this passage recently, God spoke it to me differently, as He is want to do. We may seek God generally, but we may also seek Him in a specific fashion. By this I mean, we may seek Him just to know

Relaxation

Psalm 28: 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. This is a great model for showing us how to live with God’s active presence in our lives. We put our full trust in Him which allows Him to work in our lives. The result is that we are helped. The next thing that happens is that in our joy and gratefulness, we praise Him. Now that is how the Christian life is supposed to work. Don’t spend

Ready to Share

1 Timothy 6: 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. You can always recognize people who are full of the love of God. They are always generous. You have to be because God is generous. So, when you are full of Him, generosity naturally flows from you. Why then are some people, even believers, tight fisted? It is their lack of faith, lack of trust or their belief that their own hands have provided for them. Once you truly begin to trust God, you begin to understand that

Joyful Hearing

Psalm 60: 8       CJB God in his holiness spoke, and I took joy [in his promise]. In case you want to find this verse in a different translation, it will be verse six in most other translations. David was dismayed and crying out to the Lord. Though disgruntled and wracked with worry, he knew the Lord’s nature and that God wanted to rescue His people. In the midst of his travail the voice of God rescued him with the promise of deliverance. One of the things which distinguishes some of us from David and the great prophets is

Haters Hate

John 15: 18 – 19 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. It can be pretty confusing and disheartening when someone dislikes you or treats you badly when you have never done anything to them. And here is the bad news. The more godly you become, the more they will hate you. But take heart. They hated Jesus first

Peace

Micah 5: 2, 5 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. And this one will be our peace. Here is a foretelling of the coming of Jesus. He was expected and the Jews were looking for Him. It is just like Father God to use some small town, one of insignificance to bring His son into the earth. From the small and weak He is able to do great and mighty things. When God sent Jesus into the earth,

Afflicted but Accepted

Psalm 22: 24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard. God never abandons His people but when one is going through a difficult time, it is easy to feel alone and isolated. No matter your situation right now, God is not offended by those problems that hinder you. He is offended by sin. But even if sin is the problem that afflicts you, there is none better to save you. Yahweh does not hide His face from

Bad Samaritans

2 Kings 17: 15           NLT They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them. Reading the history of Israel is both inspirational and tragic. This excerpt from the book of Kings brings sorrow. In the New Testament we find Samaria estranged from the rest of the Jews. Jews wouldn’t even speak to a Samaritan. It wasn’t always that way, though. Samaria was a jewel of Israel, nestled in a lush valley, the Bible says it was “glorious” in its beauty. How did glorious Samaria fall so far? It

Battle Strategy

Psalm 59: 16 – 17 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness. You may need to read the beginning of this psalm to get the full thrust of these last two verses. The backstory is familiar. Saul was in relentless pursuit of David. Saul’s men surrounded, besieged and attacked David and

Promises, Promises

1 Chronicles 1: 9 Now, O Lord God, Thy promise to my father David is fulfilled; for Thou has made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. When God made that promise to David it probably seemed as impossible as any of the promises you have read in the Bible. Yet God was able to fulfill all He promised to David. David’s son Solomon bears witness to us that all has been fulfilled in his sight. In other words, we have an eye witness account that God did exactly what He said He would

Independence Day

Galatians 5: 1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day but even more, I pray you will never be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  There are all sorts of bondage, but Jesus set you free so that you would never have to be restrained by any of them.  Celebrate freedom but remember it was Jesus who set us free.  

Free from Pain

2 Corinthians 5: 17 – 18            TPT Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. And God has made all things new. Most of the time when we think of this verse or talk about it, we refer to the sin nature of the old self. We think of when our habits were different, indeed our way of life was different. We’ve put away the drinking and partying. We’ve cleaned up our mouths.

Upholder

Isaiah 41: 13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Fear is pervasive. There is no one who has not been stung by its tentacles. Still, Father says we do not have to live with fear, nor should we. Because He is our Lord and God, much less Father, we have a means to overcome fear. He has promised He will never leave us forsaken. He will not leave us to our own abilities. He is bigger than that which frightens us. Imagine having

Justice for All

Psalm 58: 1, 11 Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word? Do you judge the people fairly? No! You plot injustice in your hearts. You spread violence throughout the land. Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.” This is the first stanza and the last of Psalm 58. The first depicts life under human rule, the second reveals life in God. Sometimes it is frustrating living in a world ruled by man. Justice seems out of reach.

God’s Will

Psalm 37: 4             NLT Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. A friend of my emailed me this week, closing her message with “God’s will be done.” That is a heartening expression, is it not? What I heard in it was, “Not the world’s will but God’s will be done.” I am sending out a proposal and I believe it is God’s will so naturally, I want the people who must decide on the idea to follow God’s will. I don’t want them to bend to the world’s pressures,

Lord of the Harvest

Matthew 13: 31 – 32 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” I must give credit for a catchy phrase to Diane Jones. In a recent conversation regarding seed and harvest she said, “It’s seed sown, not grown.” Upon elaboration she explained that our

Called to Preach

2 Corinthians 8: 18 So we’re sending with him the brother who is greatly honored and respected in all the churches for his work of evangelism. Most of us have been taught at least something about evangelism but there is probably more confusion out there than clarity. Evangelism is definitionally associated with the public preaching of the gospel. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe

No More Stumbling

Romans 14: 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Paul has an interesting message for us today. He was dealing with a problem of people judging each other. The Christian church had both Jews and Gentiles and their customs and beliefs were very different. Even their diets were different. Paul opened up the chapter by writing, “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgement on his opinion.” (V. 1). Interesting! We have not

Confident Heart

Psalm 57: 7 – 10       NLT My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Again I find myself understanding why God said David was a man after His own heart. We might say, “He touches

Comfort

Isaiah 51: 12 I, even I, am He who comforts you. You do not have to rely solely on the comfort of friends because God has assigned the task of comforter to Himself. It is great to have the comfort of friends and family, but they are not always available. There is only one who is with you morning, noon and night. Yahweh, Father, Holy God is with you in all hours of the day. Furthermore, He knows your problems intimately so he can address them better than anyone else. What’s more, He loves you so much that He does

Right Hand Man

Psalm 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul. Who among you is without need? If you have any need, this verse is for you. Who among you has been judged to your detriment? This verse is for you too. God, the Almighty creator is your right hand man. He stands by you to save and to vindicate. His hand is not so short that it cannot save, that it cannot provide for your needs. Do we, though, really expect God to be an active player in our

Anger to Compassion

Psalm 56: 7 They don’t deserve to get away with this! Look at their wickedness, their injustice, Lord. In your fierce anger cast them down to defeat. This verse stands alone well enough but take in consideration the previous two days’ verses because all three of these have been from Psalm 56. David said that people attacked him, plotted against him and twisted his words against him, hounded him, slandered him and sought his life. He had it pretty rough and surely, he was angry and wanted vengeance. He wanted God to punish them for what they did to him.

Trusting You

Psalm 56: 3, 4b               TPT But in the day that I’m afraid, I lay all my fears before you and trust in you with all my heart. The roaring praises of God fill my heart, and I will always triumph as I trust his promises. I am enjoying Psalm Mondays and I hope you are too. I wanted to stay with Psalm 56 for another day or two to soak in what David had to share. His experiences are different from ours but the trials themselves are common to us all and I think

Deliver Me

Psalm 56: 1-2, 5       NLT O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me. They come together to spy on me – watching my every step, eager to kill me. I feel David’s anguish in this passage, do you? As he fled from town to town, he never knew whether he would find friend or foe. Worst yet, some

Share It

Luke 22: 17      GW Then he took a cup and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He said, “Take this, and share it.” This could well be the example of Jesus’ ministry to the modern world. He gives to us freely and then it is our job to share what he has given us with others. For some people this comes naturally. Whenever they find something they enjoy or that benefits their lives, they tell others about it. This is often the best way to find out about books, movies, nutrition and more. This is how people become Christians.

Peter and Judas

Mark 14: 10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. Have you ever wondered about the disciples’ reaction to Judas’ betrayal? Jesus was amazingly nonchalant about it but then, he knew it had to be. I wonder about the Sons of Thunder though. I cannot imagine them taking it well. What about Peter? He was not one to keep his feelings hidden. Remember that he drew his sword when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. His intention was clear. He meant to fight for Jesus’

Self-inflicted Injury

Ephesians 4: 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Now that we have put on the new self that Jesus bought for each of us, we are to interact with each other in the holiness that He has provided. Look, it is time we stopped acting like the devil, especially in our relations with one another. But, do you know what it takes for us to stop acting like the devil? It takes surrender. God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, has provided everything we need

Casting Lessons

Psalm 55: 22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. This is from yesterday’s psalm. The good news in this verse is too good to pass up. Undoubtedly it puts you in remembrance of 1 Peter 5: 7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” (NIV). I love finding these Old Testament passages which are the mirror reflection of New Testament verses which we hold so dear. It is easy to get lulled into the idea that the God of the Old Testament

Brotherly Love

Psalm 55: 16 – 18 As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me. This is a psalm of David and at once tragic, sad and victorious. David’s lament was not solely that his life was pursued relentlessly but rather that his life was sought by one he loved. The enemy was not a Philistine, as it were, but rather Saul whom he loved

Fear Fueled

Ephesians 4: 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin. Fear is like anger because it has the potential to engulf you in sin and self-destruction. That is why I have chosen this verse to talk about fear. Fear is a horrible contagion; it contaminates all it touches. If you give fear any place in your life, it will seek to invade all your life. All of Job’s troubles came about because of his fear. He said, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me,” (Job 3: 25). Fortunately, he learned this important lesson about

Bless the Lord

2 Samuel 7: 1 – 2             NLT When King David was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!” One of the most outstanding things about David is that God calls him a man after His own heart (Acts 13: 22). When I read passages like this, I understand why. David had God on his mind. Picture, if

New You

Ephesians 4: 24 . . . and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. You have been created a new creature. You have been created in righteousness and truth. Jesus said in John 14: 6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” You have been created in the truth because Jesus is the truth and you are the righteousness of God because Jesus gave you right standing with God through his blood. That is what righteousness means, “right standing with God.” In this

Bury the Dead

Ephesians 4: 22 – 23 . . . that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. The devil has deceived us with the lusts of the flesh, whether that be material possessions, food, drink, or any of the other things that bring pleasure to our carnal selves. He has convinced us that those things will bring us happiness and he has convinced many people that the way of Godliness is a

Call My Name

Psalm 54: 1 – 2        TPT God, deliver me by your mighty name! Come with your glorious power and save me! Listen to my prayer; turn your ears to my cry! David was on the run from Saul, hiding in the desert and among the towns. The people of Ziph betrayed him to Saul so David turned to God to save him. We know God responded because David died an old man in his palace. That is the first good news we take from this psalm. When we call out to the Father, He hears and rescues

Keep Your Rock

John 8: 3 – 11 And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” And they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He

Stay and Rest

Matthew 11: 28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Did you know you need rest for your body, your soul and your spirit? In the very next verse Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” (v. 29). Jesus understood that we get tired down in our souls. It is a weariness that is even more pervasive that physical fatigue. Mentally you are drained and emotionally spent. This kind of weariness, indeed,

Abiding Freedom

John 8: 31 – 32 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I wish to draw your attention to the two statements Jesus makes in this one sentence. Although there are two thoughts, he tied them together in one sentence. That is because He wanted us to understand that the two ideas are tied together. First, if you want truly to be a disciple of Christ, then you must abide

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring those who died in the line of duty protecting our liberty.  I would also like to thank all those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States.  May our blessed Lord be with you and keep you.   Photo by Carol Colman        Taken at Arlington National Cemetery

The Believers’ Rest

Hebrews 4: 1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. I find this language interesting. Why should there be any fear related to God’s rest? Verse 3 reveals that God was angry and in His anger He swore that “they” would not enter into His rest. Look at verse three from the Passion Translation, “For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest! For he has said, ‘I was grieved with them and

You Owe me!

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Or do I owe you? Perhaps you have heard this verse taught before. If so, great! Most of the teaching I have heard on it focuses on being debt free, i.e. owing no one. Except we do owe and the debt we owe is love. Paul really wrote a blockbuster statement at the end, but I think it may have slipped by us. He said that all the obligation of the law is met if we love our neighbor.

Trifecta Love

John 15: 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. We all know that Jesus is our model, but do we ever consciously consider that he modeled love? Yahweh God is love; His composition is love. So, Jesus emulated His father and showed humanity what real love is. There is a key in this verse to which I alluded in yesterday’s Word of the Day. Notice that Jesus received love from the Father. What he received, he gave, and in the same measure. He says, essentially, “What I received from the

C = L

1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 3 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. This passage reminds me a bit

Brutish

Psalm 53: 1 – 4                 CJB A brutish fool tells himself, “There isn’t any God.” Such people are depraved, all their deeds are vile, not one of them does what is good. God looks out from heaven upon the human race to see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God. Every one of them is unclean, altogether corrupt; not one of them does what is good, not a single one. This is the state of humans without God. Of course humans are brutish without the grace of God but

Hang On

Exodus 5: 22-23              (NIV) Moses returned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” Reading this makes me uneasy. My heart responds, “Moses, you better watch it talking to God that way.” Then as quick as a thought, my perspective changes because I know the rest of the story and I think, “Just wait

Killer God

1 Kings 17: 18 So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!” What is that expression, the more things change, the more they stay the same? This might well have been said yesterday rather than long ago. There are two implications in the verse. The first one is that God punishes us for our iniquity by making bad things happen to us. The second is that it is God who takes life from

Baal-perazim

2 Samuel 5: 20            NLV So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). There is a common expression among Christians. We talk about receiving a breakthrough. When you have persisted against a problem or like David, an enemy, and the victory finally comes, we often characterize that as the breakthrough. This expression comes from David’s exclamation on God’s goodness.  You can see the breakthrough language

Convinced

Psalm 52: 8 – 9              TPT But I am like a flourishing olive tree, anointed in the house of God. I trust in the unending love of God; his passion toward me is forever and ever. Because it is finished I will be praising you forever and giving you thanks. Before all your godly lovers I will proclaim your beautiful name! Yesterday I sent you the first seven verses of Psalm 52. I thought you needed to see how David finished this song. Not only is it beautiful but in the face of adversarial

Vindicated

Psalm 52: 1 – 7         TPT   For the Pure and Shining One A song of instruction by King David composed when Doeg, the Edomite, betrayed David to Saul, saying, “David has come to the house of Ahimilech!”   You call yourself a mighty man, a big shot? Why do you boast in the evil you have done? Yet God’s loyal love will protect me and carry the day! 2 Listen, O deceiver, trickster of others: Your words are wicked, harming and hurting all who hear them. 3 You love evil and hate what is good and

The Weaker Sex

1 Peter 3: 7 Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Happy Weaker Sex Day!! I hope you laughed when you read that. I have to laugh. You certainly wouldn’t walk through my YMCA and come away with the idea that women are weak, even physically. I look around the classes and the women are fit and strong. I wouldn’t like to be the person who walked into our Y proclaiming that women should bow to men because women are weaker. The person who does that better workout every

Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4: 16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. God is sitting on the throne of grace. Did you know that? He is not sitting on the throne of judgment nor the throne of condemnation. No, His choice of thrones is the one of grace. That should set someone free right there. Glory!! Additionally, we are invited, no, instructed, to draw unto that throne so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of

My Shepherd

Psalm 23        NLT The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup

Full Recovery

1 Samuel 30: 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. The Jews have a ideal of peace which I hear ringing out through this verse. They call it “Shalom” and it is a very comprehensive idea, much fuller than our “Christian” idea of what peace encompasses. The Jewish sense of peace is rich and complete. It has little to do with tranquility and calmness other than that those are the natural outcomes of fullness of peace. I have heard Shalom described as “nothing missing, nothing broken.”

The One Thing

Psalm 51: 11 – 12 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. I really had a hard time choosing which verse to send today. This psalm is good right from the beginning. You would really be blessed to read the psalm in its entirety. How could I not choose these two verses, though, especially verse eleven where David writes explicitly about the Holy Spirit. There are many things which distinguish David from other Biblical personalities,

Building Blocks

Hebrews 11: 1          (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the substance of those things you are praying for. Faith is something real. It is substantive. It is not just an idea or a concept. It isn’t just theology or a feeling. It is the substance, the actual matter, that becomes your answered prayer. My dictionary defines substance as: the real or essential part or element of anything; essence, reality, or basic matter. You see faith isn’t ethereal. It is real even though it is

Prayer Power

Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer. Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. For those of us who live here, we should first offer up a prayer of thanksgiving that we can have a National Day of Prayer. Let’s also pray for all those around the world who cannot openly pray to Yahweh. For all of you who read this devotional and live outside the United States, will you consider this your personal invitation to join with us for a day of prayer? There is no time or space in

Gracefully Saved

2 Corinthians 6: 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We have become the righteousness of God in Christ because Jesus took our sin onto himself. There is a song that, although pretty, kind of bugs me because it fails to reflect this great thing that Jesus did for us. The singer says in the chorus that he is just an old sinner saved by grace. Well, which is it? Are you an old sinner or are you saved by grace? You cannot

Priestly Compassion

Hebrews 4: 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize without weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Two ideas strike me about this verse: Jesus’ compassion and his sinlessness. The two work together for our good. Jesus was in all manner tempted just as we are and yet did not sin. He knows the temptation of sin and is compassionate towards us. He knows exactly what we go through. Yet he was able to face those temptations and turn away. His success should bring you hope

Come, Gather

Psalm 50: 5 “Gather My godly ones to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” By now, most Christians have embraced the idea that God called us to Him so that we might be in relationship with Him. That relationship is one of kinship, it is a bond that is sacred to God. He seeks those who have covenanted with Him through sacrifice, forged a bond through sacrifice and He gathers those to Himself. When we read the word “sacrifice” in the Old Testament, we usually think of lambs and bulls and goats offered on the

Milk

1 Peter 2: 2 – 3 Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Yesterday, we looked at the foundational scriptures John 1: 1 & 14. They are bedrock, that upon which we build. Today’s passage is one of the bricks which is laid upon the foundation. Now that we know that Jesus is the Word and that the Word is living and powerful, we are instructed to desire it like babies crave milk. It is our

Alive

John 1: 1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. The reason I send you a scripture each day is because I believe the Word of God has the power to improve your life. The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is not just a collection of writings by a bunch of dead guys. The Word is Christ. He was the Word and was with God and He still is the Word. He is life and power. You

Show Me

John 14: 23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. I don’t know where I first heard it said but this statement has always stayed with me, “Don’t just tell me you love me, show me.” That is what I hear when I read today’s verse from Jesus. Don’t just tell me you love me, show me by keeping my word. Many people identify themselves as Christians but then there are some who are actually trying to live the Word. Now, that is an entirely different matter. Keeping Jesus’ Word means that first you need to read it.

Amalgamation

2 Corinthians 3: 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. I was thinking about this verse last week, so I looked it up. You know, it is even better than I remembered which is a lesson unto itself. Don’t rely on your memory when it comes to verses because, just as happened with me last week, Father will show you something new or deeper in it. Faith comes by hearing the Word

Face to Face

Psalm 16: 10 – 11           TPT For you will not abandon me to the realm of death, nor will you allow your Holy One to experience corruption. For you bring me a continual revelation of resurrection life, the path to the bliss that brings me face-to-face with you. I am not ready to leave behind the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Perhaps you are still in the Easter mood, or if you prefer, Resurrection Sunday. Forgive me if I still use the term Easter. I guess I am nostalgic about the whole Easter season, as an event

Waiting & Waiting

1 Samuel 16: 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. David was anointed as the King of Judah and yet he spent the next years running around in the desert hiding in caves as he was pursued by Saul. Paul had an amazing transformation and was called by Jesus to be an apostle. The next thing that happened to him was a long stint in the desert. He was called, anointed and then put up on

Robe’s Edge

1 Samuel 24: 5 – 7 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. There is some good advice here, don’t mess with the Lord’s anointed. The Pharisees should have read this passage. If they had, they wouldn’t have messed with Jesus. Jesus is the anointed one. I wonder what the

Trust begets Patience

1 Samuel 13: 7 – 14 Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. 8 Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself. Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?” Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering

Cornelius’ Memorial

Acts 10: 4      (CJB) Cornelius stared at the angel, terrified. “What is it, sir?” he asked. “Your prayers,” replied the angel, “and your acts of charity have gone up into God’s presence, so that he has you on his mind.” Ivey Ministries has been working on our prayer ministry and developing a prayer team. Naturally I have been spending time in prayer verses. There are a number which have grabbed my attention but how can this one not cause us to pause? Today’s verse was taken from the Complete Jewish Bible. The NASB reads, “Your prayers and alms

Costly Merchandise

Psalm 49: 6 – 9 They trust in their treasures and boast in their riches, yet not one of them, though rich as a king, could rescue his own brother from the guilt of his sins. Not one could give God the ransom price for the soul of another, let alone for himself. A soul’s redemption is too costly and precious for anyone to pay with earthly wealth. The price to pay is never enough to purchase eternal life for even one, to keep them out of hell. This is not a verse about money though some people categorize it

Know Me

Psalm 25: 4 – 5 Make me know Thy ways, O Lord; Teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me. How much easier would your life be if you knew God’s ways and walked in His paths? There is a song the lyrics of which are, “Show me your ways, that I may walk with you.” It has been a favorite of mine for years. I wonder if the writer got the inspiration for that song from this verse. The first thing I thought about today as I read this verse is that in order to

Check-up

1 Samuel 7: 2 During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the LORD had abandoned them. Have you ever been in this same situation where it feels like the Lord has abandoned you? I suppose there are few people who have not had a time when it felt like God was not listening. We know in our minds it is not true, that He will never leave nor forsake us but there are those times; times when you feel like you are in the middle of a desert with no food or water, no sustaining presence. Where is

Jewish Gentiles

Romans 2: 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. This is a funny little verse when viewed from our modern perspective. Even more so since there are so many Christians who are not of Jewish origin. Of course, the first believers were almost exclusively Jewish. As Gentiles began joining the ranks of believers there arose debate and confusion. How can non-Jews be saved by the Jewish Messiah? What followed was a

Love and Wrath

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. There is a lot of chatter about the wrath of God and it never ceases to surprise me. Why are we absorbed with talking about the wrath of God? There is no wrath for those who are in Jesus. My first thought is this, I want you attending a church that teaches 1 John 4: 8, “God is love.” That is the revelation we all need to live in, God is love. God is not wrathful, He

Recollection

Psalm 48: 9 Lord, as we worship you in your temple, we recall over and over your kindness to us and your unending love. Recollection is an important part of our praise. It is good for us and it is good for those around us, especially our children. There are two forms this worship may take. First is our own internal ruminations. If we are not routinely recounting the great and wonderful things the Lord has done for us, then we are missing a chance to build our own faith. There will come a day when your faith feels like

Life and Law

Philippians 3: 9 [That I] may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. Here is where things get hard. This verse perfectly positions us if, and when, we comprehend within us, what Paul intended to convey. It is easy to read with our intellect and assign it to the theological part of our minds. We need, though, to bring it to the forefront of our brains and consider each of the parts. The

Highly Combustible

Ephesians 1: 18 – 20         Complete Jewish Bible I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his people, and how surpassingly great is his power working in us who trust him. It works with the same mighty strength he used when he worked in the Messiah to raise him from the dead and seat him at his right hand in heaven. Although we looked at verse eighteen yesterday,

Anticipation

Ephesians 1: 18             Amplified And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people). I love the expression “confident expectation.” It is the image of us leaning forward, fully assured of God’s continuous attendance to our needs and desires. When we hear this odd language like

Alone and Afraid

Deuteronomy 31: 6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” This is one of those verses we want to be true. It is also a good verse upon which to test your resolve. Are you a believer? Do you believe this verse is an actual promise from God to you? Can you stand on it? Well, that is the question, isn’t it? Face it, there are times that despite our spirituality, we just feel alone.

A Ringing Cry

Psalm 47: 1 – 2          The Passion Translation Go ahead and celebrate! Come on and clap your hands, everyone! Shout to God with the raucous sounds of joy! The Lord God Most High is astonishing, awesome beyond words! He’s the formidable and powerful King over all the earth. I was trying to sense the mood of the author of this psalm and the tone with which he wrote while reading it. One of the footnotes shows that this shout of joy is literally a ringing cry. Imagine, if you will, feeling so overjoyed with who God

Open the Window

Malachi 3: 10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” There is much talk about giving to the church, but it seems to me that there is little understanding. I suppose it is just one of those uncomfortable subjects. Well, let’s just look at God’s words and see what He says about it. This one little verse says quite

If God Loved Me

1 Corinthians 15: 34 For some have no knowledge of God’s wonderful love. I think this is one of the biggest keys in all of Christianity, that is understanding the love the Father has for each of us. The verse above is Bible so it must be true but even if it was not in the Bible and you had simply spoken it to me, I would believe it. It is easy for us to relate this passage to non-believers. If they knew of the love of God, we reason, then they would be believers too. My ministry, though, is

Go Jump in the River

Psalm 46: 4 There is a river whose streams bring joy to the city of God, the holy place where the Most High lives. This river is the Holy Spirit and the flow of the Holy Spirit brings many benefits to our lives. Among these is joy. The Holy Spirit is often characterized as a flow in addition to water, rivers and fountains. It is the flow of the Spirit which brings revelation and waters the garden of God. We live in and as part of God’s city right now even as we dwell on earth because the earth is

Frozen Heart

Romans 14: 5 Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. Being convinced in our minds is the easiest part. The mind is willing, but our hearts are unconvinced. Have you watched the Disney movie, Frozen? Well, here is another life lesson from my “Everything I learned, I learned from Cartoons” anthology. Of course, last week the Disney movie, Saving Mr. Banks, was not animated, but you get the idea. One of the central characters in Frozen, Anna, was injured by her sister Elsa’s freeze power. Elsa’s frozen shot hit Anna in the head. Their parents, the Queen

Stirred, not Shaken

Psalm 46: 1 – 2 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. That is why we are not afraid even when the earth quakes or the mountains topple into the depths of the sea. Imagine, for a moment, standing on a bluff. Beneath your feet you feel the earth quaking as if shivering from a sudden chill. In the near distance you see a mountain as large as any mountain you have ever seen. While you look upon it, it crumbles like cheese, and the whole mountain tumbles into the sea. Where once stood

Grace for Women

John 4: 17 – 18 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” I was listening to Christian music the other day when a song played that recounted this episode. The song lyric said, “Jesus told her of all her sin.” Honestly, it was a pretty song and well sung, but this lyric grieved my heart. I thought of other Bible references about women. Women

Busy is a Four-Letter Word

Luke 5: 16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Jesus set a priority on spending time to pray and fellowship with his father. I wonder, though, how he had time to slip away to the mountains or the wilderness for fellowship time. Most pastors I know are busy, very busy. Jesus saw all of the demand. He saw the plethora of hurting people. And he, of all people knew he had the means to help everyone of them. People were clamoring after him for his words, his prayers and his healing touch. I just

First aid kit

Proverb 4: 20 – 22 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Colossians 4: 2 Devote yourselves to prayer. Every adventurer knows to carry a First Aid Kit on excursions. We are encouraged to have an emergency first aid kit in our cars and our homes. I have one for my kayak and another in my hiking gear and yet another in my

Tender Mercy

1 Samuel 16: 7             (NCV) “God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I just watched the movie Saving Mr. Banks. It is about Walt Disney’s trials and efforts in acquiring the rights to make the movie Mary Poppins. By all indications, the author of the Mary Poppins books was difficult and even unreasonable. Disney was committed to turning the Mary Poppins book into a movie. It took him 20 years of cajoling, negotiating, and pleasing Mrs. P.L. Travers

Ebullient Praise

Psalm 45: 1         God’s Word My heart is overflowing with good news. I will direct my song to the king. My tongue is a pen for a skillful writer. This psalm is written about Jesus and his bride, which is the church. The psalmist saw into the spiritual realm and was overwhelmed by the gloriousness of Jesus. Jesus’ grandeur and beauty caused his heart to overflow with the good news which bubbled up from within his own spirit. When Jesus walked the earth in human form, he was not the most handsome of men. When, however, you

Fruit Tree

Matthew 13: 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. We often talk about the thirty, sixty, and hundredfold return. One most commonly hears it in relationship to sowing seed into the Kingdom of God and in anticipation of the kind of harvest one can expect. God is in the multiplication business so everything we do with Him or for Him does get multiplied. Therefore, I have no problem

Choked

Matthew 13: 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Today we learn about another response people have to the Word which is sown in them. Some are deceived by what the world has to offer and full of fear and worry. These people choke on the Word because it stands in opposition to the lure of the world’s pleasures and troubles. We confronted, earlier in the week, the need

Reeds and Oaks

Matthew 13: 20 – 21 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. Here is the second category of people Jesus identified. These are people who listen to a teaching and are immediately overjoyed. Perhaps they went to a conference, heard a guest speaker at church or even read a book. There initial response to the Word

Word Seed

Matthew 13: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is from the Parable of the Sower. Jesus told the Parable of the Sower to the crowd but later explained it when his disciples questioned him about it. Although foundational, it is important we understand this parable and its implications for each of us. We know the Word has power. It is equally true, though, that few of us are living in the power that Jesus walked in. We

Literal Truth

Psalm 44: 3 Our forefathers didn’t win these battles by their own strength or their own skill or strategy. But it was through the shining forth of your radiant presence and the display of your mighty power. You loved to give them victory, for you took great delight in them. The writer of this psalm seems confident in his statement that their forefathers’ victories were not the result of their own strength, skill or battle strategy. The triumph was not the result of their own wisdom, experience or knowledge. Instead, the psalmist would have us believe that victory came through

No Lack

Psalm 34: 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. You know, I really didn’t mean to get waylaid on this “seeking” thing. However, I just can’t seem to get away from it. Today’s verse gives us a really good reason to seek God, i.e. to avoid lack. Young lions have the power to meet their needs. No beast can stand against them. Lions have even been known to take down elephants. So, if there is any animal with the power and ability to

The Big, Bad Wolf

Psalm 34: 4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Fear is a pernicious emotion. It draws us into ever deeper dread, and it draws to us all sorts of negative experiences. Once fear gets a foothold in our spirits, it invites all its little buddies to come torment us as well. We may begin with a fear of spiders or of heights only to realize one day that fear lurks around almost every corner. That is its nature. It wants to invade every part of our lives and it will if

Seek and Receive

Ephesians 1: 17 . . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. A friend of mine was suffering from writer’s block. It is a most uncomfortable feeling. I thought, “I cannot afford writer’s block. The Word of the Day has to be delivered tomorrow morning at 5:00.” I have learned that our Father and His Spirit are supporting me every day in producing these “words” from Him and that I must relax and let Him lead me. Still,

Listen

Numbers 2: 1 – 2 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance. One of the grandest precepts for us to accept and subsequently incorporate is that we can hear the voice of God speaking to each of us. Especially on this side of the Protestant Reformation, we should be people who are zealous to talk with God and hear His responses. Yet, we have fallen into a pattern

Shine the Light

Psalm 43: 3        TPT Pour into me the brightness of your daybreak! Pour into me your rays of revelation-truth! Let them comfort and gently lead me onto the shining path, showing the way into your burning presence, into your many sanctuaries of holiness. Isn’t this beautiful? Can you see Father pouring His light into you, filling you with the light of revelation truth? Wow! That is an image to ponder. That shining light leads us from the inside out. I find that fascinating but also rational. Yahweh’s light within us leads us into all truth. It leads

Success Handicap

Mark 10: 17 – 22 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him,

No Power to All Power

Matthew 28: 18          NMB And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, all power is given to me in heaven and in earth. So, if, as Jesus said, all power was given to him, then why could he do nothing in and of himself? Is this a perplexing problem or a simple question? Remember from yesterday’s Word of the Day that John 5: 19 records Jesus as saying that he could do nothing of himself. So how was he able to perform so many miracles? The answer is, he was given all power when he was

No Worms Please

John 5: 19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself.” Jesus said he was nothing without God so consider me, as David said, a worm (Psalm 22: 6). Who are we if Jesus could do nothing without the Father’s assistance? Before Jesus’ ministry began, Father sent him to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John baptized Jesus in water, God baptized him in the Holy Spirit. The text from Matthew says that the Spirit of God descended from heaven and rested upon Jesus (Matthew 3: 16). Everything Jesus did from then on was

Spirit Power

Zechariah 4: 6 “This is the word of the Lord . . ., ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Last week we spent a little time with the prophet Habakkuk, and he taught us about partnering with God and not being prideful. Habakkuk told us that leaning on our own strength, might and power, is a result of a prideful soul, a soul which is not right within us. The good news was that our Father has prepared a way for us to renew our souls and make them right. It

Finding Joy

Psalm 42: 5        NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. This week we are continuing our journey through the psalms with this passage from Psalm 42. Since you seem to be enjoying the psalms, we will continue to do one every Monday. This psalm is one sad lament and yet, is there one amongst us who has not felt equally forlorn at some point in life? The psalmist had a revelation, though, one which buoyed him even

O My Soul

Habakkuk 2: 4 Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. Yesterday Habakkuk taught us that God does not want us to rely on our own strength, but rather to trust in His. We talked about partnering with the Holy Spirit, allowing him to guide our decisions and actions. We learned that He is not pleased with our looking to our own strength and skills. In fact, the scripture said we will be held guilty if that is our reliance. I don’t want to be held guilty

Whom Shall I Serve?

Habakkuk 1: 11 But they will be held guilty, they whose strength is their God. The prophet Habakkuk wrote this sometime around 607 B.C. That means this passage is over 2600 years old. It might have been written yesterday for how appropriate it is to our everyday existence. I have been writing over the last couple of years about partnership with God. This is the singular message of our time. God sent Jesus to save us from destruction. Having accomplished his task, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion and helper. We are supposed to learn to

Giving and Taking

Psalm 37: 21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back but the righteous is gracious and gives. Do you know what it is called if you borrow and fail to pay back? It is called stealing. Yep! That’s what it is. Now why would any of us intentionally steal from one another? An absolute and complete lack of understanding and faith is why. If you understand God and who you are in Him, then you have no reason to withhold payment from those to whom it is due or not to give generously to others. Only those who are

Dry Those Eyes

Jeremiah 31: 16 – 17 Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,” declares the Lord, . . . “and there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord. God is speaking to us today. He is speaking from His heart. Let’s listen to His words of encouragement and faith. You did know that God is a person of faith, didn’t you? He began everything by calling those things which be not into being, but that is a message for another day. This day, He wants to tell

Power, Reward, Recompense

Isaiah 40: 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. This Word of the Day is for me because yesterday I was feeling very selfish. I didn’t want to look for a verse for you or a Word from God for you. I just wanted to do what I always tell you to do, hang out with Dad. So, I did and this is what he gave me. I do hope it blesses you too. As is typical, when Dad wants to

Law or Liberty

Psalm 1: 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. I want to talk about prayer and study today. I continually encourage you to read your Bible but the question is, is this a matter of law or can we find liberty in it. We live in a period of grace, Jesus having saved us from the curse of the law and being the very fulfillment of the law in this age. So, is it right or acceptable for ministers to teach and advocate the exercise of legal

Life in Christ

Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Are you appreciative of what Jesus did for you? Are you sometimes overwhelmed by the magnitude of his accomplishment? Is it humbling thinking that he endured all for you, so that you would have a life of blessing and a path to the Father? I find it overwhelming at times. What he did for me is too big to contain. It overpowers my thinking and I, like you, feel enormously grateful. In those moments, how can

Understanding

1 Corinthians 1: 19       KJV For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Last week we sang a song at church which spoke to me. I extracted this idea from it, that when we trust Him, we don’t need to understand. We live in an age of intellectualism. We like to process everything through the left side of our brains so that everything makes sense and is understandable. This is the opposite of what Jesus told us to do. He told us to believe

Honored and Esteemed

Psalm 41: 1 – 2 God always blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. They’re the first ones God helps when they find themselves in any trouble. The Lord will preserve and protect them. They’ll be honored and esteemed while their enemies are defeated. While typing in this verse I had to stop and just say, “Thank you Lord.” Do you ever do that? Are there times when the Word of God speaks to you so profoundly that it is as if God has just spoken to you aloud? That is the way it feels to me

My Dad is Bigger

1 John 4: 4 You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. This is one of those verses that we hear often but I wonder if we see the meaning in it. Yesterday we explored the idea of treating the Bible as literal truth. What happens if you do that with this verse? Who is it that is in us? The verse from yesterday, 1 John 4: 15 reveals that God lives inside of everyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of

Residency Requirements

1 John 4: 15            NIV If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. When we slow down and think about this verse, it seems pretty odd really. We accept it pretty easily because our pastors have put this verse before our eyes and ears for years. When you really think about how does God live in us? Where does He live? And how are we in God? Is this just rhetoric or is it truth? Many of us err because we fail to take the

Life and Peace

Romans 8: 6        NIV The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. I am sure we all want life and peace. Jesus said he came to the earth to give us abundant life (John 10: 10) and I certainly do not want to frustrate his purpose in my life. I am equally convinced that you want the peace of Christ flowing through your life along with the abundant life he brings. I wish, sometimes, there was nothing I had to do to position myself for all

Who’s in Charge Here?

Colossians 3: 15      Amplified Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. This is good advice, isn’t it? You may sometimes hear, “Let peace guide you.” In this verse, Paul teaches us that peace should be the controlling or ruling principle in all our ways and decisions. That certainly has implications for personal decisions when we don’t have

Lighthouse Evangelism

Psalm 40: 3      Passion Translation A new song for a new day rises up in me every time I think about how he breaks through for me! Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until everyone hears how God has set me free. Many will see his miracles; they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him! How sweet are the sentiments of David towards his heavenly father. There are many kinds of relationships we can have with Yahweh but the emotional connection David displays is the most enviable of all. When was the last time

My Part / Your Part

Psalm 9: 3 For when you appear, I worship while all of my enemies run in retreat. They stumble and perish before your presence. I have enjoyed our jog through the Psalms. I am continuing it, you may have noticed. Each Monday I will continue our journey through the psalms. This is one I found when we did Psalm 9. It was so good that I saved it for another day. I love this, don’t you? In it I see our partnership with Yahweh. This partnership is such a huge and important revelation. Jesus said we are to abide in

It’s Your Choice

Deuteronomy 30: 19           NOG I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live. Are you familiar with this verse? I want you to be. It is so very powerful and can change your life. In fact, this is a great one for you to meditate on. The piece of it I wish to highlight today is the word “choose.” God has offered us life. He has offered us blessings. Death and the curse entered the

Hope and Trust

Romans 15: 13             NIV May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Most of us are attracted to this prayer and the idea that we may be filled with joy and peace. There are a couple of interesting nuances, though, that we should look at. First, Paul calls God the God of hope. Then at the end of the verse his prayer is for us to overflow with hope. Third, this overflowing

New Wine

1 Timothy 5: 23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. Paul in writing to Timothy included this statement at the end of his discourse about elders. It is actually awkwardly placed between two statements that are about the sins of others. So, maybe Paul was attempting to communicate to Timothy that a little wine, even among the elders is not sinful. I have always held that being Christian must not necessarily be synonymous with being a tea-totaller, or completely abstaining from alcoholic drinks. People will remind

Witness This

Psalm 39: 1 – 2             NIV I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. If you want to keep yourself from sin, the tongue is an excellent place to start. Most of us do more damage to ourselves and others with our mouth than any other way. In my book, Journey Through the Bible, chapter 64 is titled Loshon Hora. This is a Hebrew expression

The Book of Jesus

Luke 24: 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. The backstory here is that it is the third day after the crucifixion. Mary and several of the other women went early in the morning to Jesus’ tomb. They found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. There appeared unto them angels who told them Jesus was risen. The women raced back to tell the apostles and others of Jesus’ followers that Jesus had arisen. Later, two of the men from this group went to

Communing

Luke 24: 15          KJV And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. Ministers, me included, are always telling you to commune with God but what does that mean and how do you do it? Here is a definition for the verb commune: to converse or talk together, usually with profound intensity, intimacy, etc.; interchange thoughts or feelings, to be in intimate communication or rapport. Does that help? The first level of communion is communication. That seems logical and reasonable, doesn’t it? They are from the

Challenged

Philippians 4: 19                    God’s Word My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus. Do you believe this verse? I mean do you really, really believe it? Today’s Word of the Day is not, surprisingly, about God meeting your needs. It is about believing. It is about challenging our beliefs. The truth is, most of us don’t really believe the Bible. We believe a version of the Bible. As we read the Bible we need to learn to challenge our belief system asking whether it

Lordly Necessity

Deuteronomy 10: 12 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. First, you can line through the name Israel and write in your name. That is how you should read this verse. Second, please recall that you have to modernize this language. We no longer use the word “fear” the way it was used in this context. A better, more modern word would be revere.

Poured Out

Psalm 38: 9 – 10 Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me. I am moved by David’s passion and how he lays his heart out before the lord. Is this something we do? Is this something I do? When I am under stress, I turn into a turtle. I withdraw into my shell and hold everything inside. We all know, at least intellectually, that this is not good, not healthy, and completely non-productive.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Matthew 5: 44 – 45            NET But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. You’ve heard that you are to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you and that is a good focus of this passage, but I particularly like verse 45 for two reasons. First, it tells us the reason for the

Old is New Again

Proverb 4: 7 The beginning of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. I have a question for you today. Proverbs is a wisdom book, so is it primarily a book of the Old Testament or does it transcend the Old Testament? Is its advice pertinent to this generation? Okay, so that is two questions. The reason I bring this up is because we tend to have a very different perspective on the Old Testament books since we are New Testament believers. So, what do we do with the book of proverbs? And, for that matter,

Don’t Do It Now

Joshua 1: 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. You’ve heard the popular saying, “Do it Now.” It was a great message and helped a lot of us in our everyday life. In fact, that saying has become part of the cultural jargon of our age. So, why am I telling you not to do it

Roommate

Colossians 3: 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. When we read the Bible, particularly familiar sections of it, our minds react immediately with recognition. The downside, though, is that familiarity puts our minds in to a comfort state rather than an inquiring mode. We tend to read over the passage a bit more than one that is new to our eyes and mind. One of the cures for this is to read from

Entrusted

Psalm 37: 5 & 7                    God’s Word Entrust your ways to the Lord. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf. Surrender yourself to the LORD, and wait patiently for him. This is one of my favorite Bible passages. It is important to me because it speaks to an issue that I constantly must consider. This passage is about the partnership with God. When we partner with Him, then the work load is shared. We have our part and He has His. The key is for us to do our

Listen

Hebrews 12: 25 – 26             New Living Bible Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” The God’s Word Translation reads, “Be careful

Trumpet Blast

Hebrews 12: 19             New Living Translation For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. The Word of the Day for December 19th, 2018 characterized the voice of the Lord. The excerpts I used from Psalm 29: 3 – 9 read, “The voice of the Lord . . . is powerful, . . . is majestic, . . . breaks the cedars, . . . hews out flames of fire, . . . shakes the wilderness, . . .makes the deer to calve and strips

Divine Destiny

Hebrews 12: 1       (New Living Translation) Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. This may be a familiar verse to you however, I appreciate how the New Living Translation puts forth the ideas in such a straightforward and simple way. The NIV Bible says to run the race with perseverance. The key, though, is the imparted knowledge of how we do this. It is one thing to mentally nod in agreement to run the race with

Bless the Lord

Matthew 8: 2 – 4 A leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Tell me, what jumps out to you from this passage? There are many messages easily gleaned from these verses. As I read it

Immersed in the Flow

Psalm 36: 9 – 10 To know you is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love on those who are near you. Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you. Our Christian walk is a journey as the very name implies. One does not walk and remain in the same place. Therefore, the first question is, are we travelling or are we rooted in place? Are we still journeying with Jesus

God of the Sword

Psalm 35: 1 – 3                 God’s Word O Lord, attack those who attack me. Fight against those who fight against me. Use your shields, both small and large. Arise to help me. Hold your spear to block the way of those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your savior.” How many facets of Yahweh do you know personally? He has many titles He connects to people through. Whole books have been written on the “Names of God” though I would argue those aren’t His names as much as they are

Salvation Cometh

Psalm 34: 22 None of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. Psalm 34 is one of the truly great psalms of David and in running a search, I find I have written on it several times, especially verse 10. I have never, however, written on verse 22 before. As I read Psalm 34, I found so many great messages and fabulous verses but what of this lonely verse here at the end of this great psalm? Does it have anything to say to you today? Here is what I heard as I read. Our God is all

Trinity Divinity

Psalm 33: 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. This is an interesting verse because we see the trinity at work creating the earth and the universe. We learned from the apostle John that Jesus is the Word. Therefore, when David wrote that the heavens were made by the Word of the Lord, we recognize the involvement of Jesus in creation. Do you remember the devotions written about the Holy Spirit where we learned that the Spirit actually is the breath of God? (For a review

Happy New Year

Where do you want to go this year?  The year is new and there is nothing you cannot achieve with the Holy Spirit.  January 1st is the eternal do over.  Forget your age, for you are neither too old nor too young.  You can build on last year’s achievements and springboard off the failures.  It is a new day, brand new and all things are possible.  Catch a vision of where you would like to go this year.  Believe in your heart that your vision is God’s desire. I pray, with all sincerity, that 2019 fulfills all its promise in

Angels Sing

You know the lyrics to the famous Christmas Carol, “Hark the herald, angels sing, glory to the new born King!”  A herald is a bringer of news, an official messenger.  Hearken to the voice of the messenger, in other words, for he is bringing you good news of a great joy, so joyous, in fact, that the angels sing, “Glory, Glory!  The King is born!”  Think of that, angels celebrating with uplifted voices because the savior has arrived.  I guarantee you they are singing, “Glory, glory,” even until today. There are many images of Christmas and we have many demands placed

Wonderful Counselor

Psalm 32: 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. This is personal. It’s from God to you. He is telling you that He will give you personal counsel. That is why He says He will counsel you with His eye upon you. There is advice that is good for everyone and which applies to everyone. That is not what this verse is about. This is about giving you daily instruction in the way you should go. Our Father is offering to give you

Cheer and Courage

Psalm 31: 23 – 24              Passion Translation Listen to me, all you godly ones: Love the Lord with passion! The Lord protects and preserves all those who are loyal to him. But he pays back in full all those who reject him in their pride. So cheer up! Take courage all you who love him. Wait for him to break through for you, all who trust in him! I hope some of you took me up on the idea of reading each of these psalms in their fullness as your daily Bible reading. I

No More Pain

Psalm 30: 1, 5               God’s Word Verses 7 – 8, 10 – 11    Passion Translation I will honor you highly, O Lord, because you have pulled me out of the pit. Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning. I was panic-stricken and became depressed. Still I cried out to you, Lord God. I shouted out for mercy. So hear me now, Lord; show me your famous mercy. O God, be my Savior and rescue me! Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing